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Jewell Fellow and Classical Tutor of 
Balliol College, Oxford 







Jowett Fellow and Classical Tutor oj 
Balhol College, Oxfoid 


PrtnUti m England 
At the Oxford University Press 
By John Johnson 
Printer to the University 


An interest in Lucretius took me back many years 
ago, as it has others, to the study of the remains of 
Epicurus, without which the true meaning of the 
Latin poet cannot be fully understood. The great 
work of Usener placed at one's disposal all that was 
then available for the knowledge of Epicurus, and with 
the exception of the Vatican Gnomologium nothing has 
since been added. 1 But the study of Epicicrea brought 
me to the conclusion that something more than a mere 
text was needed : the work of Brieger, Giussani, Tohte, 
and others on certain portions of the Epicurean theory 
had at once shed light and raised new problems, and 
I was thus led to set about making my own text, 
translation, and commentary. Since I have been at 
work, there have appeared the German translation of 
Kochalsky, the Italian translation and brief com- 
mentary of Bignone, and quite recently the new 
Teubner text of von der Muehll. Each of these — 
and especially in my view the work of Bignone — have 
greatly advanced the study of Epicurus, but there is 

1 For certain fragments of the Tltpl 4>u'o-iu>s see Commentary, 


still no complete 1 translation in English and no com- 
plete commentary in any language. 

In the circumstances it seems worth while to publish 
the result of a good many years' work on the Epicurean 
text. But I do so with much hesitation. No one can 
be more fully aware than I am of the extreme difficulty 
of the writings of Epicurus, and the necessarily tenta- 
tative character of any solution of their many cruces : 
I would repeat with fervour the words of Usener, 
' nunc cum librum manibus emitto, sentio me hominem 
et inconstantem fuisse '. But I trust that I have shed 
some light on dark places and at least have made it 
clear where the problems lie and what are the data for 
their solution. I hope to follow up this work shortly 
with a volume of critical essays on the system of 
Epicurus, where it will be possible to deal with some 
of the problems at greater length. 

My debt to many predecessors in Epicurean studies 
is great, and will become obvious in the commentary, 
but I think that after Usener I owe most to two great 
Italian scholars, Giussani and Bignone. 

C. B. 

Oxford, September, 1924. 

1 Many of the important passages have been translated by Mr. R D. 
Hicks in his Stoic and Epicurean (1910), but I do not always find 
myself in agreement with his versions. His translation of Diogenes 
Laertius in the Loeb series unfortunately appeared too late for me to 
use it. For the same reason I have been unable to use the translation 
of the Letters and the Kvpiai Ad&u by A. Ernout in his Commentary 
on Lucretius I, II. 


INTRODUCTION. MSS. and editions . ... 9 


Epistula ad Herodotum 18 

Epistula ad Pythoclea . . 56 

Epistula ad Menoeceum 82 

Ki'piai Ao£ai ...... -94 

Fragmenta . 106 

Vita Epicuri .... . . 140 


Letter to Herodotus . . . 173 

Letter to Pythocles . 275 

Letter to Menoeceus ... ... 327 

Principal Doctrines . .... 344 

Fragments .... . . 375 

Life of Epicurus ... . . 401 



Frontispiece. Epicurus, from the bust in the Museo 
Capitolmo, Rome. 



By far the greater part of the extant remains of Epicurus — 
the three letters, the Ku'piai Ao£eu, and many of the surviving 
fragments — are embodied in the tenth book of Diogenes Laertius. 
The book purports to be a ' Life ' of Epicurus and is compiled 
in haphazard fashion from many doxographical sources, the 
quotations occurring from time to time in the course of the 
narrative. Thus the problem of the text of Epicurus is for the 
most part that of the MS. sources for Diogenes. Six MSS. 
(BFGHPQ) were used by Usener in the preparation of his 
great edition (1887) : for a full account of them his preface 
should be consulted. These six have recently been re-read, 
and Usener's report of the readings of the principal codices 
checked and occasionally corrected by P. von der Muehll (1922), 
who has added readings from five more MSS. (TDWCoZ) of which 
the last two are the most important. A brief account, based on 
the work of Usener and von der Muehll, will suffice for this 
edition in which I have been guided entirely by their reports. 

The MSS. of Diogenes fall into two main classes, not, accord- 
ing to Usener, representing any ancient cleavage of tradition, 
but both derived during the Middle Ages from the same source, 
the one class representing a careful copying, the other more 
negligent work : this is shown by the occasional unexpected 
agreement of the chief representatives of the two classes, 
B and F. 

B I. The oldest representative of the first class is B, the Codex 
Borbonicus gr. ni. B. 29 (formerly 253), a parchment codex 
of the twelfth century, in the public library at Naples : it was 
corrected by a hand of the fourteenth century whose readings 
not infrequently agree with those of Co. 



P Later than B, but almost more important, is P, the Codex 
Parisinus gr. 1759, a paper codex of the beginning of the 
fourteenth century. It is described by Usener as 'the twin' 
of B, but von der Muehll is inclined to regard it as representing 
another family of the same stock. P has unfortunately been 
much corrected and the corrections have often obscured or 
obliterated its original readings : von der Muehll distinguishes 
P a (Usener's P 1 ) who derived his readings from another copy 
of the same family and P 3 (Usener's P ! ) who corrected the text 
later by the vulgate tradition. 

We are, however, often able to recover the original reading 
of P from two other MSS. which appear to have been copied 
from P before it was corrected. For this purpose Usener relies 

Q mostly on the authority of Q, the Codex Parisinus gr. 1758, 
a paper codex made in the fourteenth century or at the be- 
ginning of the fifteenth. Von der Muehll prefers to quote a 
MS. which he has himself collated from photographs and 
Co which he refers to as Co, the Codex Constantinopolitanus 
Veteris Serail. (' The Old Seraglio ') : this MS. was written 
in the fourteenth or fifteenth century (the last page being 
added later in the sixteenth). These two, or one or other 
of them, frequently confirm the original text of P, and in other 
places, where P's reading has been obscured, may be taken to 
preserve it. 

H Belonging to the same class, though of lesser importance, are 
H, the Codex Laurentianus LXIX. 35 of the fourteenth 
century, also a copy of P, but later than Q and made after the 

W correction of P and therefore embodying a mixed text, and W, 
the Codex Vaticanus gr. 140 of the fourteenth century (one of 
von der Muehll's MSS.), which he believes, though with less 
certainty, to be also derived from P. 

F II. The chief MS. of the second class, derived more carelessly 
from the same original tradition as the first class, is F, the 
Codex Laurentianus LXIX. 13, a large parchment MS., attri- 
buted by Usener to the twelfth and by von der Muehll to the 
thirteenth century. Usener is, however, of opinion that it is an 



unscholarly copy and cannot be taken by itself to represent the 
tradition of the second class. 

Z Von der Muehll finds the necessary support for F in Z, the 
Codex Lobcowicensis Raudnitzianus, which he has himself 
collated. This codex again has been much corrected and von 
der Muehll believes that after it had already received the 
additions of Z 2 and Z i it was the source of the first printed 
edition of Diogenes. 

f The edttto prtnceps was published by Froben at Basle in 1523 
and is said in the preface to be a transcript of the MS. of 
Matthew Aungathus, professor at Wittenberg The MS. would 
appear to have been a bad copy of the corrected Z This 
printed text has therefore derivatively the authority of a MS. 
and is accordingly quoted by Usener in support of F. (I have 
not myself quoted it, except where readings rest on its sole 

Von der Muehll points out the frequency with which we find 
in support of a reading the combination FP J Zf this combina- 
tion may be taken to represent the second class. Its best 
readings, however, are not infrequently due to conjecture 
rather than to tradition, and von der Muehll is of opinion that 
Usener is sometimes mistaken in attributing too great importance 
to them 

G The remaining MS quoted by Usener is G, the Codex 
Laurentianus LXIX. 28, a paper MS., said to be of the four- 
teenth century. It appears to represent a mixed tradition of 

T the two classes. Von der Muehll refers also occasionally to T, 

D the Codex Urbmas Vat. gr. 109, and to D, the Codex Borbonicus 
$ gr. in. B. 28. He has also made some use of 4>, an epitome of 
Diogenes Laertius in Codex Vaticanus gr. 96, made, as he thinks, 
at the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, which is available 
when from time to time it quotes passages in extenso A less 

* valuable epitome of the same character is found in the Codex 
Palatinus Vaticanus gr. 93 and dated 1338. 

The MSS. of Diogenes were enriched by a considerable body 
of scholia, often references to other passages in Epicurus or 



amplifications of or comments on the text : these have become 
interwoven into the text and are especially frequent in the 
letters to Herodotus and to Pythocles. Sometimes, where they 
are accompanied by references (e.g. to the Ilepl *vV«o>s) it is easy 
to detect them, but in other places the task of disentangling text 
and gloss is extremely difficult and delicate. Most modern 
editors would agree that Usener was too ready to assume 'gloss, 
scholium, or additamentum ', and that many phrases thus ex- 
cluded by him can be restored to the text. Von der Muehll 
is of opinion that it is the intrusion of these additions in the 
letter to Pythocles which has caused its dislocated and incoherent 
appearance, and that it was in origin a genuine work of 
Epicurus' own hand. I am myself more inclined to hold the 
opinion of Usener that it is an Epicurean compilation. 

With the earlier editions of Diogenes or of the tenth book 
Usener has dealt in his Introduction (pp. xv-xvii), and recent 
criticism has not altered his opinions. They fall naturally into 
two classes. The editors of the sixteenth century had access 
only to inferior MSS. and used them unscientifically. Of the 
editio prtnccps of Froben (1523) I have already spoken. Stephanus 
(1570) relied on G and another inferior MS. Mananus 393: 
Sambucus (1566) used the Venetus, Vaticanus, and Borbonicus, 
and made some corrections, but did not consult the MSS. 
constantly or with judgement. To the same class belong the 
editions of Aldobrandinus (1594) and Menagius (1664). Yet to 
each and all of these earlier editors are due certain conjectural 
restorations which still find a place in modern texts. 

In the seventeenth century Gassendi revived the serious 
study of Epicureanism and may be said to have introduced the 
theory of atomism to the modern world. But though he too has 
contributed permanent emendations to the text, he was a poor 
Greek scholar, and in his edition of Book X (1649) showed no 
respect for tradition and practically re-wrote the text. Meibom 
(1692) in Usener's view did still greater damage to the text. 
Schneider (1813) was able to some extent to repair the harm 
done, but Huebner (1828) again returned to the tradition of 


Meibom, and Cobet (1862), though he derived assistance from F 
and from his own scholarship, could not get free from it. 

Hermann Usener's great work Eptcurea appeared in 1887, 
and is the foundation of all modern study of Epicurus. By 
collecting together from the whole range of classical literature 
citations from Epicurus and allusions to his theories, he estab- 
lished a store-house of information on Epicureanism and in many 
cases parallels which serve to illustrate and often to explain the 
text of Epicurus himself. But almost more important were his 
services to the text. The way for a scientific study of the MS. 
tradition had been prepared by Wachsmuth who had collated 
the Italian MSS. and Bonner who had collated the two Paris 
MSS. (P and Q). Usener threw over the whole previous 
tradition of printed editions and made a fresh start from the 
scientific study of the MSS and their relations to one another. 
His text is accordingly established on a far sounder basis and 
he has himself made important and valuable corrections. At 
the same time he is not what would now be called a conservative 
editor, and in dealing with passages which he could not under- 
stand he was too apt either to introduce violent emendations or 
to assume the intrusion of a gloss or scholium. But a glance 
at the critical apparatus in this edition or that of von der Muehll 
will show how often his corrections have been accepted, and any 
future work must take the form of a re-examination of the 
evidence on the lines which he laid down. 

The work of Usener naturally gave an impetus to the study 
of Epicurus, and since his edition there has been published a 
considerable body of essays and articles, dealing for the most 
part with individual points in the Epicurean theory, but in many 
instances also making contributions to the elucidation of the 
text. Of these the most important are the works of Brieger and 
Giussani. Brieger, who already in 1882 had published a com- 
mentary on the letter to Herodotus, added a second pamphlet 
in 1893 Eptkurs Lehre von der Secle, in which there is a further 
study of the text : he is too apt to indulge in wild emendation, 
but has made a few useful suggestions. More stimulating and 



valuable are the essays of Giussani in his edition of Lucretius 
{1896-8) : he showed wonderful penetration in the understand- 
ing and elucidation of Epicurean ideas, but again was too reckless 
in his dealings with the text to have left much of permanent 
value. Useful work has also been done by Arndt, CrOnert, 
Diels, R. D. Hicks, P. Merbach, R. Philippson, and H. Weil. 

Within the last ten years two translations of Epicurus have 
been published containing critical notes on the text. The 
German translation of A. Kochalsky (1914) introduces a con- 
siderable number of emendations, but they seem to me on the 
whole arbitrary and too often to take the form of re-wnting. 
Of greater importance is the Italian translation of E. Bignone 
(I920) : in brief foot-notes and some appendices he has made 
most penetrating comments on the text and in not a few places 
suggested corrections of his own which are of great value. I am, 
however, inclined to think that he is too prone to suppose that 
words have fallen out and to restore the text by additions. The 
Teubner text of von der Muehll (1922) came into my hands 
after I had practically completed my work. Its great value is 
the re-examination of the MSS. and the addition of readings 
from other MSS. not made by Usener. The editor also appears 
to me to use very sound judgement as between readings and 
conjectures and to have established a good text, with which I am 
happy to find myself in general agreement. I have endeavoured 
to introduce from his critical apparatus the necessary modifica- 
tions of Usener's report of the readings of his MSS. together 
with the evidence gleaned from the additional MSS. The 
tendency of all these three recent critics is to a more conserva- 
tive text than that of Usener, and with this tendency I am fully 
in accord. In the many difficult places which still remain 
I have used my judgement to the best of my ability in choosing 
between the alternatives available and in a few have introduced 
corrections of my own. But I doubt whether any editor could 
claim to have produced a fully satisfactory text. 

For the fragments the text must necessarily depend on the 
MSS. of the authors from whom they are cited, except for the 


Vatican Gnomologium. This is contained in Codex Vaticanus 
gr. 1950, a MS. of the fourteenth century. It was first published 
by C. Wotke, with some notes by Usener and Gomperz in 
Wiener Studten, vol. x (1888). Von der Muehll has collated 
the MS. again from photographs and in some cases has cor- 
rected the readings reported by Wotke. In the majority of 
these excerpts the text is fairly sound, but there are some in 
which it still remains very uncertain. 


I. B codex Borbonicus Neapohtanus gr. in B. 29 (saecl. xn). 
P codex Pansmns gr. 1759 (saecl xiv). 

Q codex Pansinus gr. 1 758 (saecl. xiv vel xv init ). 

Co codex Constantinopolitanus Veteris Serail. (saecl. xiv vel xv) 

H codex Laurentianus LXIX. 35 (saecl. xiv) 

W codex Vaticanus gr 140 (saecl. xiv). 

II. F codex Laurentianus LXIX 13 (saecl, xn vel mm). 
Z codex Lobcowicensis Raudnitzianus VI. fc 38. 

f editio Frobeniana Basiliensis (anni MDxxxni) 

G codex Laurentianus LXIX. 28 (saecl xiv). 

T codex Urbmas Vat. gr 109 (saecl xv), 

D codex Borbonicus Neapohtanus gr 111. B 28. 






Tois bvvaperon, Si 'Hpobore, ^Kacrra twv Tiepl (pvo-eaii 
ai'ayeyfiafjifih'<ov T)p.Zv e£a/cpi,/3ow p,rjbe ray (ac[£ovs t&v 
<TvvTtTay)xtvu>v ftifikovs biaOprfv eT!LTop.ijv tijs oktjs npaypa- 
TtLa<s (ij to Karaaytiv tSiv okoa-^fpooTdrwv ye bo£utv ttjv 
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Kaipwv iv roiy KiipuDTaroLs (Bor)0fti> clvtois SvveovTut, Ka&' 
6<rov hv e<j)UTTTCLivrai ttj9 Trepl c/)v<recoy Oeinpias. *.ai Tot/i 
7rpo/3€/3))/cJray <3e tKavus iv rfj tG>v oku>v eTTifikexj/a. tov 
tvttov ttjs okr/s Trpayp.arelas tov KaTtrrToi.^Lcop.ivov 8fi 

10 p,vrip:ov(vtiv. Trjs yap adpoas e7rt/3oA?jy -rvkvov beopieffa, 
rfjs be Kara p,epo$ ov\ 6p.o[u)s. | fiabivreov p.iv ovv tie' 
(Kelva Kal (rvve\u>s iv Ty p-V^pi] to toctovtov Ttou)Ttav, d^> 
ov ij re KvpioiTarr) inifioki] (ttl To, "Kpaypara iaTai kol bi] 
koL to Kara ptpos aKpijSatpa rrav e£€vpi)treTai, t£>v okua^epoj- 
5 t&t<dv tvttoji' ev irepteikr)p.p.evoiv Kal pLvrjp,oi''CDi> m firel 
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a.Kpifiu>p,aTos yivtrai, to tols iTTifiokais o^e'coy hvvaaOai 
^prjcrdai, Kal (tovto yivoiT av auwrtor) irpbs aTrka aroi- 
Xfiw^tara Kal (pa>vas (rvvayop.ivu>v. ov yap olov re to 

io TtvKvwp.a Tt}s <rvve\ovs r<£z> okwv rrepiobeCas eivat prj bvva- 

35 <l /9i/9Xous] fivfUkovs Usener : 8ii3\o>v Meibom 4 yt bofc&v 
Usener in commentano : 8e So££v B . &e&o£a>v P'QCo : 8n£wv 
FGHP' 5 aiiToU] ai/Tis Usener. fortasse avrbs Brieger jrapc- 

CTK(va<ra tva H P°Z : napfa-Ktvaaa . . . Iva cum htura F : napccrKfvacrav a 
QP'Co 1- ■napio-Kfvacra a BGCo a 6 alro'is Schneider, airrols 

libri 7 Kai] Kn) dri Kal Giussam 8 irpoj3f/3'j(cornr Casaubon : 
irpojStfikqKitTat llbn 36 I «V tKtlva Kai Gassendl : Kai eV fte'iva 

llbn 2 iv rff\ tv r* Usener . Iv 8e Muehll 8 (tovto yivotr hv 
imavrutv) Supplevi : pro Ka\ scnpsit cKaarwv Usener: {ntp) tSiv Kara 



35 For those who are unable, Herodotus, to work in detail Introduction-. 
through all that I have written about nature, or to peruse "pftome for 
the largei books which I have composed, I have already advanced 
prepared at sufficient length an epitome of the whole students - 
system, that they may keep adequately in mind at least 

the most general principles in each department, in order 
that as occasion arises they may be able to assist them- 
selves on the most important points, in so far as they 
undertake the study of nature. But those also who have 
made considerable progress in the survey of the main 
principles ought to bear in mind the scheme of the whole 
system set forth in its essentials. For we have frequent 
need of the general view, but not so often of the detailed 

36 exposition. Indeed it is necessary to go back on the main 
principles, and constantly to fix in one's memory enough 
to give one the most essential comprehension of the truth. 
And in fact the accurate knowledge of details will be fully 
discovered, if the general principles in the various depart- 
ments are thoroughly grasped and borne in mind , for even 
in the case of one fully initiated the most essential feature 
in all accurate knowledge is the capacity to make a rapid 
use of observation and mental apprehension, and (this can 
be done if everything) is summed up in elementary prin- 
ciples and formulae. For it is not possible for any one to 
abbreviate the complete course through the whole system, 
if he cannot embrace in his own mind by means of short 

ficpot Koi n(p\ ta>v oKiav) supplevlt Blgnone 9 (rwayautvav] rrvvayo- 
juvott Muehll . dvaynntvwv Usener lO e/vai] ct'ficrai Meibom 8vva- 
uhov Thomas : Svvan<vov libri 

B 2 


I. rrpos hpoaoton 

fxivov 8td f3pa\e&v (pa>v<Hv Hirav ifXTrepiXafieiv iv avrtd to 
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ovo-qs rots MKduiy.ivois (pvcrtoXoyCa rfjs roiavTrjs obov, -napey- 
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5 Kal (TTOLXtCoMTLV T&V okooV bo£S>V. 

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rd virdpxovra Tra.Br], ottcos av Kal ro irpocr\xivov /cat to abrjAov 
^X<op.ei' ots <rijfi«t<u(ro'/jL€^a. 

TaCra Set diaXaj36i'Tas avvopav ifbrj irepl tG>v abrjXmv 

o TTpG>Tov fxev on ovbev yiv(Tai £k tov p.r) ovtos. rrav yap 
i< Travrbs eyiver av aTrepp.dru)v ye ovOev Trpoabe6p.evov. | 
/cat d icpddpero 8e ro u$>ai>i£6p\.evov sis ro /-t?; ov, rrdvra 
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fi.r)i> Kal to Trav ad toiovtov i]v otov vvv tart, Kat del toiovtov 
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5 irav ovOlv icrnv, 6 av doreXddv els avro TrjV lAerafioAriv 

II nvrii Schneider: al>T<i libn 37 2 napeyyvaiv to QH'Co 

Usener . <naptyyva>vTtav FH 1 P 3 Z: 7rnpfyyvGivT P 1 * 7raj)€yyv . t6 li r 
■rrape-yyvai to Gassendi 3 tvtpyqfia F Usener: tvdpyrffia BGH 

P^Co Toioi'16) Hirzel. 7-6 rovrav libn: tihovtos £>v Bignone 

4 eyyaArjw'dW T<j" Usener " eyyaXiji'i'fon-a) F'CoF* : hTaAr)vt£a>v tSj B 1 ' 
tyy«Xr;nf(!vru)v F'P'Z inoltjtra crui Usener : noir]<raa8ai libn 

9 (?/) Roeper (^) Usener- 1) G 38 4 "n Tf Arndt «*re libn 
eira Gassendi : t-nura Usener, in commentano entirtv Kara 
seclusit Bienone mi Muehll 5 7rdna] iriivruiv Blgnone . iriin-wr 
Muehll (<tfirti^ supplevit Gassendi 6 Kara Giussani . Ka\ 

libn : Kn! ((cnrii) Gassendi 9 Cobet : hi libn post 

8»nX(i/3nvrar (6fi) Arndt 11 tyivtr] lyivtr P 1 Co 39 2 SfTuif 

F : ovra>v twv codd cett 4 cir A] o Bneger /ifrajSaXX«i] 

/ura(3«XfZ Usener 6 jroti^ratro] rroiijirat Usener, Troiijcrac (5wat)ro 


formulae all that might be set out with accuracy in detail. 

37 Wherefore since the method I have described is valuable 
to all those who are accustomed to the investigation of 
nature, 1 who urge upon others the constant occupation in 
the investigation of nature, and find my own peace chiefly 
in a life so occupied, have composed for you another 
epitome on these lines, summing up the first principles of 
the whole doctrine. 

First of all, Herodotus, we must grasp the ideas attached 1 Methods oj 
to words, in order that we may be able to refer to them i^w^rds to 

and so to judge the inferences of opinion or problems of beused ln 
l- / n i . ^ . iL . , theirfirst 

investigation or reflection, so that we may not either leave me amng. 
everything uncertain and go on explaining to infinity or 

38 use words devoid of meaning For this purpose it is 
essential that the first mental image associated with each 
word should be regarded, and that there should be no 
need of explanation, if we are really to have a standard to 
which to refer a problem of investigation or reflection or 

a mental inference. And besides we must keep all our a The 
investigations in accord with our sensations, and in par- ^gement° f 
ticular with the immediate apprehensions whether of the 
mind or of any one of the instruments of judgement, 
and likewise in accord with the feelings existing in us, 
in order that we may have indications whereby we may 
judge both the problem of sense-perception and the 

Having made these points clear, we must now consider II The Un>- 
things imperceptible to the senses First of all, that ^,^£ s 
nothing is created out of that which does not exist: for if A Impercep- 
it were, everything would be created out of everything ^n^'",, 6 *',,. 

39 with no need of seeds. And again, if that which dis- created out of 
appears were destroyed into that which did not exist, all 3 0t ^' n t ^ ln 1S 
things would have perished, since that into which they destroyed 
were dissolved would not exist. Furthermore, the universe <nto noihing. 
always was such as it is now, and always will be the same, verse is ever 
For there is nothing into which it changes : for outside the the same - 
universe there is nothing which could come into it and 

bring about the change. 



'AAAa fiTjr Kai to ttolv eo-Ti (o-topara Kal tottos)- craytaTa 
p.iv yap is iariv, avrr) rj alo-Orja-ts iirl irdvraiv papTvptT, KaO' 
fjv avayKatov to ahr]\ov tS> Aoytoyifi TtKp.aipeo*6ai., &o-ntp 
upatiitov to -nporrdfv | ti (bi) pi) 6 Ktvov Kal \dpav icai 
avcuprj <pvo-iv ovopaQopfv, ovk av tl\f ro o-wpaTa oirov tJv 
oibe bi ov tKivfiro, Kad&irtp (paivtTai Kivovptva. Trapa. bi 
ravra ovOiv ovb' tirivorjdrjvai Swarat ovrt TrepikrjTtTiK&s ovre 
5 a.vaX.6ya>s rots irfptArfTrrois, a»s Ka<T oAas qbvo-tis Kap.fiavop.tva 
koX prj a>y ra rovrtor o-vpmuspaTa rj <ruyu/3f /J^Kora Xtyopuva. 
Kal Kal t£d <toja<xtooii to. /x€i> {<tti (TDyKpicreis, ra 8' 

i£ a>v al ovyicpltreis TrtwoCrjvTaf | ratSra 8e fcrriv dropa Kal 
apera.(3\r]Ta, elrrtp p.r) peWa iravTa ets to prj ov q^Sapr/o-fcrdai 
aW* ln"xyov ti vitop.4v(iv eV rats bia\vcrto-i tu>v o-vyKpCcreojv, 
nXr/pr] Tyr (pvcriv ovra, ovk f^ovra uirrj rf oTt(U9 biaAv0Tjo-(Tai. 
5 &o~re ras dpxas ctTopovs drayKOAOv twai aioparu>v <f>vo-ets. 

'AAAa pijv Kai To tt&v &TTtipov fart, to yap TreTrepao-pevov 
uKpov t?x €l TO ^ &Kpov Trap" erepriv tl dtatpeZrai. (offTf ovk 
(X°v aKpov mpas ovk c?X fl ' TT*P a $ ovk e\ov S.irtipov av 
ttrj Kal ov nfTTfpao-pii'ov. /cat prjv Kal r<2 tt\^0(i t&v 
io a-u>p.u.TU>v aireipov tart to ttclv Kal rfi peyeOei rov K€i>ov. \ 
etTe yap yv to nevbv direipou, ret 8c aaS^tara &>pio-p,4va, 
ovbapov av Ifxere ra aatpara, dAA.' eqbtpeTo Kara to fttreipov 
Kfvov bifcnrappiva, ovk e^oi/ra ra vufpdboi'Ta Kal oriWovTa 
Kara ras ai-aKOTrds. eire to Kfvbv ijv wpuTp-tvov, ovk ai> 
r ?X e r£ * aTTtipa aoop.aTa ottov ivearij. 

llpos re tovtois rd arop.a t<H>v o~a>pa.Ta>v Kal pto-Ta., 

7 (ira>pnTn Kai Tonos) SUpplevit Usener IO to npotr&(v\ 

Tonus Se Usener 40 l (St") supplevit Gassendi 8 BG : op 

FHPQ : ov Usener 4 i>£c> Usener : oGrt libn -7r*piXTjnTi- 

ko>s Co Usener - nfpiAr;7rT0)r ]ibr. cett. 5~ 7 <" r • ■ ^afij3api'ip*i>a 

. . . 'htyn^ti'a] o&a . . . \npfi<tv"ji*v . . ^.iyopcv Usener 7 

toiv B 1 P'QCo: k(u ravTov FHP'Z 41 3 iV^Oov rt senpsi 

(idem Bignone) : lrrx v0VTa libn lo-xvttv ti Usener: (lo~\CovTd Tiva 
m notis mss. Rohde) \montvtiv\ vno/icvi'iv Cronert 4 ovra 

Usener: orav hbn : ovra ko.\ Meibom. out S>) Bignone 7 to bi 

FHPQ: ro yap BG post Btuptirai Usener aAXil pfjy to 

nuv oti rrap' irtpuv n Stapftrai supplendum censuit 43 5 rWarn 

BFGP 3 : evto-ri HP'Q 


39 7 post nXXa prjv Kai legltur toCto Kai (v Tj) Mtyd\r) tmropij <fit]o-t 
kot* dpxrfv Kai cv T17 a Utpi <fivo~€a>s 

d\Ka p^v . . . dpxnv om. Z d BHPQ: npd>Tj] FZ 


Moreover, the universe is (bodies and space) : for that B Bodies 
bodies exist sense itself witnesses in the experience of all !L" d 5 P ace 

. . , , 'he universe 

men, and in accordance with the evidence of sense we consists of 
must of necessity judge of the imperceptible by reasoning, bod,es » nd 

40 as I have already said. And if there were not that which 
we term void and place and intangible existence, bodies 
would have nowhere to exist and nothing through which 

to move, as they are seen to move. And besides these There is no 
two nothing can even be thought of either by conception °^ d r e l n ll t dc " 
or on the analogy of things conceivable such as could be existence 
grasped as whole existences and not spoken of as the 
accidents or properties of such existences. Furthermore, 
among bodies some are compounds, and others those of 

41 which compounds are formed. And these latter are Body exists 
indivisible and unalterable (if, that is, all things are not to ' o n f *„Siv°SIb\e 
be destroyed into the non-existent, but something per- particles 
manent is to remain behind at the dissolution of com- 
pounds) they are completely solid in nature, and can 

by no means be dissolved in any part. So it must 
needs be that the first-beginnings are indivisible corporeal 

Moreover, the universe is boundless. For that which is C Infinity of 

. . the universe. 

bounded has an extreme point . and the extreme point is The universe 
seen against something else. So that as it has no extreme ls infinite; 
point, it has no limit , and as it has no limit, it must be 

42 boundless and not bounded. Fuithermore, the infinite is boih m the 
boundless both in the number of the bodies and in the a t om s and m 
extent of the void. For if on the one hand the void were the extent of 
boundless, and the bodies limited in number, the bodies space " 
could not stay anywhere, but would be carried about and 
scattered through the infinite void, not having other bodies 

to support them and keep them in place by means of 
collisions. But if, on the other hand, the void were limited, 
the infinite bodies would not have room wherein to take 
their place. 

Besides this the indivisible and solid bodies, out of of"^'^™"" 5 

Scholia the atoms — 

40 1 post Ka't raw lrgitur tovto Kal iv 17/ irpwTy Htpl cpvocas kcu rjj b ut not 
18 Km ti Kai rn MryaAn eViToun infinite 

Ml Ti BGHP'Q: <ai rn u FP» differences. 



&v Kal al <rvyKpl<reis yivovrai, Kal els a SiaAvoirai., airtpi/ajTrrd 
iari rats buMpopais t&v tryj]p.6.TtMiv ov yap bvvarov yevio-dai 
ray Tocravras bi,a<popas in tuiv avr&v <t\t]hAtu>v ireptetATjp.- 
10 p.ivoiv. Kal KaO' iK<k<rrr}V de <ryr]p.aTia-iv awA&s &TTfipoC tt<riv 
at ZfjLoia.1, Tats bf biatpopals ov)^ cnrXGis aiztipoi aXXa p.6vov 
&itipLkr\Trroi. \ 

43 KivovvraC re a-we^Gis al &Top.ol tov alwva Kal al p.iv . . . 

etr p.aKpav air' aW-qXoav huarafxtvai, al be av rbv na\ 
la-yovcTLV, orav rvyuim Tjj irepiTrXoKfj KfKAip.^vai fi areya^o- 

44. p.eva.1 Trapa t&v ■nKfKTtn&v. \ i\ re yap tov Ktvov <f>v<ris T) 
biopiCovaa €k6.(ttt]v airr/v tovto napao-Ktva^ti, t>]v xmipficrtv 
oix ota re ovcra Troieiadai- fj re orepeonjs r) virdpxovcra 
avrais Kara, ttjv o-vynpovaiv tov anoTra\ ttoki, i<f>* ottoctov 
5 av j; TreptirXoKr; Trjv d7roKara<rracrti> in ttjs crvyKpo-u<Tea>s 8to£. 
apxh be tovtoov ovk tcmv, alricov tG>v aropiaiv ova-cav Kal 
tov Ktvov. I 

45 'H TOcravTri b-q <p<nvfi tovtu>v Ttavru>v pLvripLovtvopievoov tov 

Ikovov tvttov vTTofiaKkti rr}y t&v ovtcuv cpvcrecoy iTtwolas. 

AWa piijv Kal Koap.01 aireipoi cio-lv 01 0' ofxoioi tovt<o 
Kal ol avofxoioi. at re yap a.Top.01 aneipot ovcrai, is apri 
5 aTTtbeCx^V' <f>*poVTat Kal moppu>TaTU>. ov yap KaTavr/Xoivrai 
at Totavrai a.Topi.01, l£ S>v av ykvoiro Koo-pios r/ v<p' Siv av 
Troirjffeirj, ot/r' ets Zva ovt" eis TreTrepaa-p.i'vovs, ovO' o<rot 
toiovtoi ovO' o<tol bta<popot. tovtois. &a~re oiibiv to inirobo- 
o-TaTTjo-ov e<rrt 7rpos rr]V airtipiav tQ>v Koo-piuiv. | 

9 alriov om G 43 1 lacunam post xa\ al pen indicavit 

Bignone, ante eadem verba Usener 2 «u Usener (m commen- 

tano) airov libri ■ airoi Briefer 3 ur\ovaiv] lo-xovcrai Bneger 

Tij jrepnrXoKj; Usener : t^p 7rfpi7rXoKi'/v libri 4 trapii G : rrtpi 

BHPQ 44 3 avrtfp] airrwv G 6 airitov] dtStwv H. Weil 

4.5 I Si; BPQ Si G 2 (™Ir irip'i) ante rrjt inseruit Usener 

t ttivoLos Z i Bignone imvoiats libr cett. Usener 3 o" 6' B'GH 

PQCo: ««' B'FZ 4 xnl ol GHPQCo : Kal BFZ 1 : «t' f 


4a 12 post a7r<piX»)nrTcn legltur oliSt yap tprja-iv tvSortpm els Airtipov 
Tt)v ropr/v Tvyxavttir, Xf'yfi He, intthr) at notorip-ff /utroSaXXoirai, tl 
fUXXfi rit prj Kai tois iityidta-iv Arr\S>f fir Hirttpov avras iKfiaXhftv 

\iyti] \ifyti C. F. Hermann : "X^ytiv Usener tl fiiWti . . 

efiffdXXttv in textu retinuit Muehll jmXAm libri plenque : 

fitWot BG 

43 I post al aropoc lejptur <f>r]o\ Se ivioTtpio Kai Urorax«>s avras 
KiveUr&at tov Ktvov Tr/v ufctv opoiav irapt^optvov Kal rj] KOvtpOTaTt] Kal 
Tfl (3apvraT n 

Kuhn : l(tv B : i$iv libr. cett. 


which too the compounds are created and into which they 
are dissolved, have an incomprehensible number of 
varieties in shape for it is not possible that such great 
varieties of things should arise from the same (atomic) 
shapes, if they are limited in number. And so in each 
shape the atoms are quite infinite in number, but their 
differences of shape are not quite infinite, but only incom- 
prehensible in number. 

43 And the atoms move continuously for all time, some of E Motion of 
them (falling straight down, others swerving, and others the atoms 
recoiling from their collisions. And of the latter, some 

are borne on) separating to a long distance from one 
another, while others again recoil and recoil, whenever 
they chance to be checked by the interlacing with others, 

44 or else shut in by atoms interlaced around them. For on 
the one hand the nature of the void which separates each 
atom by itself brings this about, as it is not able to afford 
resistance, and on the other hand the hardness which 
belongs to the atoms makes them recoil after collision to 
as great a distance as the interlacing permits separation 
after the collision. And these motions have no beginning, 
since the atoms and the void are the cause. 

45 These brief sayings, if all these points are borne in mind, 
afford a sufficient outline for our understanding of the 
nature of existing things. 

Furthermore, there are infinite worlds both like and F Infinite 
unlike this world of ours. For the atoms being infinite in ^ridT^ 
number, as was proved already, are borne on far out into 
space. For those atoms, which are of such nature that 
a world could be created out of them or made by them, 
have not been used up either on one world or on a limited 
number of worlds, nor again on all the worlds which are 
alike, or on those which are different from these. So that 
there nowhere exists an obstacle to the infinite number of 
the worlds. 

44. 7 post ti>C Ktvov legltur (pncri 6" (vtortpw p)fi£ Troiornrd riva Trepi 
rar dropuvs ttvcn 7r\qv a^paroe Kai ptytOovs Kai fiapovs" rit fie 
Xpapa irapa Tijv Bttriv t5k dropav aXXdrrf o-flai iv mis AafifKa oroi- 
X'lmr'cri (pnat. irav fie ptytdor pr) (tvai jr»pi avrds' ovbtirort yovv 
dropos a<f)8rj ata-drpTei 

■napa hbr. plenque , mpi HQ owficicu libr. plerique : IB BPCo 



Kai pTiv Kai twoi 6p.oiocryjip.ovfi rots (rrcpefxviois fieri, 
XfTTTorrja-iv iirexovres [xaKpav tS>v <f>aivop.eva>v. oirre yap 
cnroo-rdo-ei? ahvvaTobcrtv iv ru nepUxovri ylvecrOai rotavrai 
ovt ivirrjbetoTTjTfs rfjtf Karepyaalas tG>v KOi\oop.aTo>v /cat 

5 \eTrroTrjTo>v yivecrdai, oure anoppoiai ri\v t£rjs dicriv Kai (iaa-iv 
Siarrfpovcrat, r}v Trep Kai tv rots ortpfp-vCois tt\ov tovtovs 
8e Toiis tvttovs etStoXa Trpo(rayopevop.(v. \ 

KW on to, eXhwXa rats KeTrrorrjcriv avv7tep^\r)T0i9 Ke'xprjrai, 
ovOev avTifxaprvpei t£>v (\>aivop.lvu>v oOev Kai Td\\r] awirep- 
/3Xrjra e^ei, waiTa iropov irvp.p.eTpov eyovra -apbs (r<3) r£ 
a-rroppGi avraiv fxrj&tv aiTiKOTtrelv *; dKiya avriKOTrreiv, noKKais 
be Kai aneipois tv6m ai'TiKOTTTttv rt. | irpo's re rovrot?, ort 
»/ yevems tSiv tlhu>\a)v Upa i'OTj/xart crvp./3atvti. Kai yap 
pevcris cL-no tG>v crcopLCLTtuv tov tTrnrokrjs crvi>e)(rjs, ovk ^7rt'8jjXos 
rfj jxet&icrei Sid TTjV avrava-KkripcxHTiv, o-<££ovcra tt)v ent tov 

5 arepepviov 6tcriv Kai tu£lv tG>v aropunv eirt iro\vv \povov, 
el Kai ivioTf <rvy\top.h'r), Kai <rv(TTao-€is iv r<3 irepie\oiTi 
6£elai 8 id to p.ri SeTi- Kara fiaOos to o-vp.Ti\ijp<i>p.a yivearOai, 
Kai aWoi be rpoiroi rives yevvrjTiKol tSiv toiovtcov (pveredv 
ei(Tiv. ovdev yap tovtow ai'Tipt-apTvpeirai rats alcrdijrre crii', 
io hv /3A.e7T77 ns Tiva Tpoitov rds ivapyeias, Tli'a Kai rd? 
o-vp.iraQeias &ti6 tSiv t^wOev irpbs rjpJas avoCaei. j 

Aei 5e Kai vop.i£eiv, eiveurioi'Tos tivos aito tSsv H^ouOev 
ras p.op<pas bpav r/p-hs Kai biavocicrdai' oi) yap av evairocreppa- 
yicraiTo ra e^ai ti]v kavrQ>v cpvrriv tov re ■^pttip.aros Kai Trjs 
p.op(f>fjs 8td tov depos tov p.fTa£i> r)pLa>i> re KaKe Cvcav , obbe 

5 Sta rcij' aKrCvcov ?*; oloov hi] izoTt pevp.6.T(ov d0' r]p.S>v TTpbs 

46* 3 <"rotrrd(r«tf] warder' Gassendi 4 rijs scnpsi ■ tovs 

BP'QCo- inr FHP 5 : rals GTD n-^r Usener 5 \cnToTTrra>i>] 
A.ctorijrcdi' Usener yivtadai del. KUhn 46 kki fit)V Kai . . . 

47 KaTtxrxtiv to trToix^ov has duas sententias suadente Giussani ad 
$4 61,62 transtuh 47* 1 tl& FPQ : fltf B'GH 3 {tw) supplevit 
Meibom : (ru) Tescari 4 airuppai scnpsi collato Lucr.w. 205 . anfipat 
libn : (p!j) antipm Bignone : to antipan Muehll : post cm(ipa> aliquid 
intercidisse suspicabatur Tescari n-oXXntr] n-oXXoit Usener in com- 
mentano 48 3 tmiroKrtt Z* f: ini rroXX^r hbr. cett. (e'7rt7roXX^f 

P s ) (rvvtxijs P 3 mg : crvvo)(jjt libn 4 /ietoxret Usener : cnjfieiwcrti 
BGHPQ: ij fitioocret F 6 pX)St crvyxtop.tvr) supplet inrup^ei H mg. 

9 diTipapTvp* it at H. Weil: avTipaprvpel BGHPQCoZ: pap-rvpii F 

10 rtr rtva scnpsi : rt't Ttra libn evapyuas Gassendi ivtpytias llbrl 
rlva Usener : Iva libri 1 1 Avoiaei B : dvottri FHPQCoZ . avian G 


46* Moreover, there are images like in shape to the solid III. Stns*- 
bodies, far surpassing perceptible things in their subtlety ^"sigh" 
of texture. For it is not impossible that such emanations 1 The 
should be formed in that which surrounds the objects, nor images ■ 
that there should be opportunities for the formation of such 
hollow and thin frames, nor that there should be effluences 
which preserve the respective position and order which they 
had before in the solid bodies: these images we call idols. 

47» Next, nothing among perceptible things contradicts the a Their 
belief that the images have unsurpassable fineness ofsp e 'ed' yan 
texture. And for this reason they have also unsurpass- 
able speed of motion, since the movement of all their atoms 
is uniform, and besides nothing or very few things hinder 
their emission by collisions, whereas a body composed of 
many or infinite atoms is at once hindered by collisions. 

48 Besides this (nothing contradicts the belief) that the 3 Their 
creation of the idols takes place as quick as thought. F01 Nation ° 
the flow of atoms from the surface of bodies is continuous, 

yet it cannot be detected by any lessening in the size of 
the object because of the constant filling tip of what is lost. 
The flow of images preserves for a long time the position 
and order of the atoms in the solid body, though it is 
occasionally confused. Moreover compound idols are 
quickly formed in the air around, because it is not neces- 
sary for their substance to be filled in deep inside : and 
besides there are certain other methods in which existences 
of this sort are produced For not one of these beliefs is 
contradicted by our sensations, if one looks to see in 
what way sensation will bring us the clear visions from 
external objects, and in what way again the corresponding 
sequence of qualities and movements. 

49 Now we must suppose too that it is when something 4 The method 
enters us fiom external objects that we not only see but "bought ^ 
think of their shapes. For external objects could not make 

on us an impression of the nature of their own colour and 
shape by means of the air which lies between us and 
them, nor again by means of the rays or effluences of any 

49 2 av ('miro(T<f)payi(raiTO Cobet : & ficv (hv GZ S ) airo<T<\>(>ayioaiTO 
libn 5 toiv] tivuiv Usener 



iKflva Txapayivop-ivcov, ovrms is tvttuiv nvatv iireicriovTiov 
r) curb tSiv Trpayn&Ta>v 6px>\p6cov re Kal optoiopiopcpoov Kara 
rd evapp-OTTov p4yedos eh tt)v o\j/iv r) ttjv bidvoiav, d>Kea>s 

50 raty (f>opais •^pixip.ivtav, | etra Sia TavTrjv rr)v alrlav tov ivos 
Kal wvexovs rijv a\avrao-[ai> arrobibovToov Kal tt)v o-vpirdOeiav 
duo rod vnoKeip.ivov (Tw(pi'T(av Kara tov eKeWev o-vpip.eTpov 
(■nepdapLov (k rrjs Kara (iados ev raj crTepep.v(<j> tu>v &T6p.u>v 

5 n&Acreoos. Kal r)v av Xaj3(np.ev <fiavrao-Cav e7TLf3Xr)TiK5>s rrj 
biavola rj roly alcrdrjn] plots eh-e p.oprf>rjs efre crvpj3ej3rjK6TOiv, 
p-optprj eo-Tiv avrrj tov o-Tepep.viov, yivop.4vr) Kara to e£r}s 
rrvKvoupa r) eyKaTakeLp.p.a tov elbdXov to be \j/evbos Kal to 
birjfj.apTrjp.fvov ev r<j> irpoo-ho£a£out'v(f> ad eariv (<7U tov 
10 TTporrpevovTos) iirip.apTvprjOijo-eerOai r) pr) avTipapTvprjOrjcrecrdai, 

5 1 (it ovk eTup.apTvpovp.evov (j) ai'Tip.apTvpovp.i'vov)' | rj re yap 
6p.oi6Tr]s t&v (pavTacrpL&v olov el ev ukovi Xap.j3avopUva>v 
r) \a0' vttvovs ywopevuiv r) (far' aXXas nvai imfioXas Trjs 
biavoias rj twv XoittSiv KpiTrjpicov ovk clv irore vTrrjp\e tois 

S ovo-l re Kal akrjdeo-i Tcpoo-ayapevopevois, el juu/ i]V Tiva Kal 
Toiavra Trpoo-l3a\\6p.eva' to be birjpapTrjpiivov ovk av vrrrjpxev, 
el pit) tXap.fia.vop.ev Kal 6.XXr;v Ttva Kivrjaiv ev fjp.iv aircus 
a-vvrjppevrjv p.ev (tjj (pavTaaTLKrj eTTlfioXfj), biaXr]\jnv be 
Kxovo-av Kara be Tavrrjv, iav p.ev p.rj eTTip,apTVpr)6r) r) clvti- 
10 p.apTvpr)drj, to x/zeufios yCveTai- eav be iir ip-aprvprjOfj 77 p,r) 
53 avTLp.apTvpr)6f\, to aXrjdes. | Kal TavTrjv ovv o-qbobpa ye bel 
■rijv bo£av Karexeiv, tva p-rjre to. Kpirrjpia avaiprtrai ra Kara 
raj evapyeias prjre to bir]p.aprr)pevov 6p.oCa>s (3ef}aiovp.evov 
■navTa arvvTapaTTr}. 

7 6fu>XP" av ROSS : cmo xpua>v llbll 9 4>opa\t H Illg M°P" 

<pais hbn 50 2 air"8i66vTG>v . a-oy^ovrav Usener : n7rofii'^oiTor 
. . . iti££ovtos hbn 5 iruXo-iw! TU Usener: jrXd<r«cof FHPQCoZ. 
iv . . . . BG av \tif3a> TD Gassendi ■ avaXaffaipfv libr cett. 

8 cyKardXcippa tov ' eyKaTciXtifi^nros FGZ 1 ' (VKaTaXeifiiuiTOi B : 
tyKaruXrifuiTos HPQCo 9 («'iri tov -npoaiifvovTot) supplevit Usener 
1 1 (5 avTifiapTvpovpJvov) supplevit Usener 51 2 olov ti] olov 7 
Usener 6 rouivra Gassendi . raira hbn TrpoafinXXoptva 

Usener: irp&c o (d F) f3iiX\op*v libn to Je] to tc Usener 

8 {T17 (pavrao-TiKfl rVigoX.v) ex glossemate § 50 adscrjpto supplevit 
Usener 5a 3 t'vnpytlos Gassendi . tvtpyt'ias hbn 


50 1 1 post (nip.apTvpovp*vov le^fltur Kara Tiva Kivijaiv ev *)piv airots 
cvyrip.ptvTjv rjj epaVTaOTiKtj e'jri^oX^, SidXr/^iv &i exovtxav, Kad i)v to 



sort which pass from us to them— nearly so well as if 
models, similar in colour and shape, leave the objects and 
enter according to their respective size either into our 

50 sight or into our mind , moving along swiftly, and so by 
this means reproducing the image of a single continuous 
thing and preserving the corresponding sequence of quali- 
ties and movements from the original object as the result 
of their uniform contact with us, kept up by the vibration 
of the atoms deep in the interioi of the concrete body. 

And every image which we obtain by an act of appre- 5 Truth and 
hension on the part of the mind or of the sense-organs, vll!on?° d ™ 
whether of shape or of properties, this image is the shape 
(or the properties) of the concrete object, and is produced by 
the constant repetition of the image or the impression it has 
left. Now falsehood and error always he in the addition 
of opinion with regard to (what is waiting) to be confirmed 
or not contradicted, and then is not confirmed (or is con- 

51 tradicted). For the similaiity between the things which 
exist, which we call real, and the images received as a 
likeness of things and produced either in sleep or through 
some other acts of apprehension on the part of the mind 
or the other instruments of judgement, could never be, 
unless there were some effluences of this nature actually 
brought into contact with our senses. And error would 
not exist unless another kind of movement too were pro- 
duced inside ourselves, closely linked to the apprehension 
of images, but differing from it , and it is owing to this, 
supposing it is not confirmed, or is contradicted, that false- 
hood arises, but if it is confirmed or not contradicted, it 

5a is true. Therefore we must do our best to keep this doc- 
trine in mind, in order that on the one hand the standards 
of judgement dependent on the clear visions may not be 
undermined, and on the other error may not be as firmly 
established as truth and so throw all into confusion. 


yj/fiiSns yivfriu. 

Schohon usque ab entfiapTvprjdi'iaftrOat incipere credldit Muelill 
Ttva Kivrjuiv Usener : TrjV anivifrov llbrl tijv Ktvrjmv Menagius 
*X<tvaay Gassendl ' txpyarj libn 
51 9 POSt Kara fit ravrr)v legltur Tt}V <Tvvt}p.\itvr\v ttj <pafTaartK.jj 

f\ov<Tav P'H : ('^owri|t BGP'QCo : e^ov<Tnt F 



5 'A\\d prjv Kal to &kov( iv ylverai peijpaTos tivos qbepopivov 

dub TOV <poOVOVVTOS rj Tj^OVVTOS rj \f/0<poVVTOS T] 01TCO? Sj)7TOT« 

&kov<ttik6v Ttddos TrapacrKivd^ovTos. to <3e pevpa tovto efs 
opoioptptls oyicovs hiaa-Tteiperai, dpa riva hiacria&VTas crvp- 
uddtiav irpbs d\\rj\ovs /cat (vorrjTa IbioTpoirov biaretvovcrav 

10 irpbs to cnrocrTeiKav, koX Tyv knaicrdr]CTW Tr\v tif intLvov <Ls 
rd TToXKa Troiovaav, ti be py ye, to t£o>6tv pdrov evbyKov 
Tia.pao-K.tvd£ov<rav | dvtv yap dva(ptpopti>rjs Tivbi intWtv avp- 
7ia6ftas ovk dv yevoiTo ?/ roiavrr] (naio-0r)(Tis. ovk avrbv 
ovv bel vopi£eiv tov depa virb Tijs TrpoLfpevqs <f>u>vfjs Jj Kal 
tGiv opoyevwv <T^r]parL^cOaL (tto\\i]v yap evbaav efei tovto 
5 itdo-yjt iv vtt' intCir]*), aAA' evOls Tyv ywophrrjv Trkriyriv iv, oTav (\uoin]V dtfjiuipev, ToiavTi)i> tKdkixfnv oyKwv tivSiv 
pfVpCLTOS TTl'fVpaTGlboVS dTTOT(\((TTLKiil' TT oiei<r6ai, t) to irdOos 
TO aKOVCTTtKOV iiplv TTapao-Kfvd£ti. 

Kal pyv Kal tt)v do-pyv i>opuo~Teor, &o~iztp Kal Tijv aKorjv, 

10 ovk dv TTore ovOev irdOoi ipydirao-Oai, ei pi] oyKoi Tives f/aav 
dub tov lipdypaTos aTioqbepdp.fVoi o-vpp.(Tpoi. Trpbi TO ToCro 
to aio-6r\Tj)ptov Kivtiv, 01 p.ii> toioi TeTapayptveos Kal dAAo- 
TpCcus, oi Se toioi aTap(i)(cos Kal ofoetcos «x°z'Tey. \ 

Kal pijv Kal tcls dropovs l'opicrreov pybepLav TTOLoTijTa 
t£>v qbaivoptva>v Trpoo-<j)tpeo-dat irkyv cr^ypaTos Kal fidpovi 
Kal peydOovs Kal o<ra e£ dvdyKys a-yj]pari a~vp<pvrj ifrTi. 
noioTTfjS yap Trdcra peTafidWa- al S< aTopot oi/bev p.tTaf3u\- 
5 \0va~1v, t7ret8f;7rtp Set ti vttnpAvtw iv rats" biaKvcrtiTt t&v 
(TvyKpCo-fcov o-Ttpebv Kal dbidkvTov, b Tas /xera/SoAaj ovk (Is 
to py ov TT-ou/crerat oib' eic roC py dvros, d\kd Kara pera- 
6eo-fis (tu'ui'), Tivoiv be /cat -npoadbovs Kal a(f>6bovs. oOtv 
dvayKaiov Tti per pfTariOepei'a dqbdapTa etz^ai Kal Tyv tov 

10 /Lifra/3dA,AovTos cpvatv ovk ()(OVTa, oyKovs S£ /cat o-^rjpa- 

5 ptifiaTot Gassendi : Trvevfiams libri 10 «rii sroXXa] ut glos- 
sema seclusit Usener II ivoiovaav . . irapao-Kf vu{ov<tiiv] irmovmae . 
7raptttTKfvd£ovTar Usener 53 5 7rnO"^ftv Meibom : irt'urxaiv 

B f GHPQ ndcryov B'F 6 ZkOki^tiv Bnegei • e\\id n v B: fVXrj^v 
P'QH'Co: ik FGHP'Z: ty<\iatv Usener ZyK»,v tlv€> v P'QCo . 
•tlixov 5yKa>v FGH P'Z : SyKiav tlvus H Usenet 7 dn-oi-<Af(TT-iKiii<] 

d7rorf \*irruc^ Usener II irpas to FG ir/Jot BHPO 54 3 o-xrr 
finri Kuhn : a-\ripaTos libri 4 oi'Bei/ Zf . oiSi cett. 5 5tt BP 1 : 
del FGZ . 817 Co 8 (rivwv) Bignone : iv n-oXXoic (sc. lemma) hbri 
plerique • t'x woXXou Z : nkv 7roXXiii' Gassendi : iv woXXoif . . . d<p6- 
Sovc ut vanain lectionem seclusit Usener 9 piv Kochalsky . 

p!] libri : fiij Usener 


Moreover, hearing too results when a current is carried B Hearing. 
off from the object speaking or sounding or making a J 1 
noise, or causing in any other way a sensation of hearing, effluence from 
Now this current is split up into particles, each like the JXch'splits 
whole, which at the same time preserve a correspondence up into similar 
of qualities with one another and a unity of character P artl f lcs > 

1 J which pre- 

which stretches right back to the object which emitted the berve the 
sound • this unity it is which in most cases produces com- ^^nsma] 
prehension in the recipient, or, if not, merely makes 

53 manifest the presence of the external object. For without 
the transference from the object of some correspondence 
of qualities, comprehension of this nature could not result. 
We must not then suppose that the actual air is moulded 
into shape by the voice which is emitted or by other similar 
sounds — for it will be very far from being so acted upon 
by it— but that the blow which takes place inside us, when 
we emit our voice, causes at once a squeezing out of certain 
particles, which produce a stream of breath, of such a 
character as to afford us the sensation of hearing 

Furthermore, we must suppose that smell too, just like C Smell is 
hearing, could never bring about any sensation, unless callfaec j by 
there were certain particles carried off from the object effluences 
of suitable size to stir this sense-organ, some of them in 
a manner disorderly and alien to it, others in a regular 
manner and akin in nature. 

54 Moreover, we must suppose that the atoms do not iv The 
possess any of the qualities belonging to perceptible things, ^ l0 ^"' 
except shape, weight, and size, and all that necessarily properties 
goes with shape. For every quality changes , but the s ^ a /^ e ' eht ' 
atoms do not change at all, since there must needs be i other 
something which remains solid and indissoluble at the °. ualltl0S 

D change, but 

dissolution of compounds, which can cause changes ; not there mubt be 
changes into the non-existent or from the non-existent, somethin e 

° constant to 

but changes effected by the shifting of position of some prevent com- 
particles, and by the addition or departure of others. For P 1 ^ 1 * destruc - 
this reason it is essential that the bodies which shift their 
position should be imperishable and should not possess 
the nature of what changes, but parts and configui ation of 
their own For thus much must needs remain constant 


ricriJLOvs IbCovf tovto yap Kai dvayKaiov virofxiveiv | Kal yap 
iv TOis ■nap' utTarr^r}fj.aTi^ofjJvoLS Kara ri)l> irtpialpeatv 
to <7x^/xa (WTrdpxov kapfidverat, ai be 7roi6Ynr€y ovk ivvndp- 
yovcrai. iv r<2 p.(Taf3dkkovTi,, &o-ntp iKeivo KaraAei7T£Tai, aAA' 
5 i£ okov tov o~c&uaTos arrokkvLLevai. tKava ovv to vTTokenrd- 
p.tva ravra ray tQ>v o-vyKp[cre(ov bia<f>opds iroi«fr, ineibrj trep 
VTTo\eCTT((r6aC yi riva avayKaiov Kai (m-tj) «Zs to Sv 

Akka p-ffv ovbe bet vop.(£eiv itav fxeyedos iv rail arofwts 

o vndp\(iv, Iva /arj to q^aivdpeva avTiuapTvpij- Trapakkayds 
bi Tti»as jxtyt6&v vofuo-riov elvai. fitknov yap Kal tovtov 
■npocrdvTos to. Kara ra irdOr) Kal Tay aio-drjo-eis yivdfxeva 
dirobodrjo-tTai. | ttclv be p-eyeOos VTrdpyov ovre \priatpov icm 
Trpbs ray r<oV TratoTijTaiv btacpopds, d<^ix" at Tf "M* *^ ft xai 
7rpdr fifxas opards ardiiovs' o ov Beoopetrai yivduevov, ovb 1 
ottojs ay yivovro opari) aTO/xoy I&tlv iTrivorjcrai. 

5 Ilpoy 8t Tovrois oil 8el vofj.C£eiv iv rip Lpi.o-p.ivip o-iouari. 
direCpovs oyKovs eu'at ovS' OTrrjkCKOvs ovv. <oo-T£ oi pdvov 
r)jv eh dneipov TOfAT/v eirl rovkarrov dvaipeTe'ov, tva /urj 
■ndvra dadevfj notapev Kav rals TrepLkr/^reo-i tS>v dOpdcav 
«iy to fjfj ov dvayKa£di)p.eQa rd dvra Oki/Sowes Karavakio-Kew, 

o dXkd Kal T7]j> fj.eTdf3ao-tv pi] vofxiariov yeveo-Qai Iv rols 
i>pto-p,ivots ds direipov /xjj8' (fin) Tovkairov. \ ovtc yap 
ottojs, iweibdv ana£ rif eiTnj on direipoi oyKoi tv nvi 
inrdpy^ovcr iv f) ovrfkCKOt ovr, eort vorjvat, ttq!? t t\v tfri 
tovto irtTTtpao-fxivov eXr) to ueyeOoi, ; (jrrjkLKOi yap Tires 

5 brjkov a>y oi ctareipoi elaiv oyKOf Kal ovtoi oTtrjkCKoi dv 
irore 2>o-iv, direipov av 7\v Kal to fiiytdos-) aKpov re i\ovros 
tov TTfTTfpao-fjJvov hiakrjTTTov, tl p.)/ Kal KaO' kavrd 6eu>pr)Tov, 
ovk efcrri p.?/ oi Kal to i£rjs tovtov toiovtov voilv Kal ovtlc 

II toCto] ravTa Meibom {nrofiivns] vnarri6fvni Usener 

55 7 K <d (m 1 ?) Aldobrandmus . xai libn : ol< Usener : Kai fti&fv 
Bignone g oiSt flfi Gassendi oC8f <iel libn 56 1 vm-ap- 

^ov] {md/j^fiy Usener 2 5^' ?&tt Usener : afitXfi (n/i*\\ft 

H 1 ) libn : &v tSei Weil 3 nid' Usener aSd' libn 4 o/mi-17 

aro^or ut glossema seclusit Usener 8 k&v Usener • Kai 

libn affp6tov B: draitav F 11 ^178' («Vi) Gassendi: firjSc 

vel ui) dc libri 57 3 uttcbs] om F Giussam 3 )j] o£ Usener 

5 oi] om. FGHP* post oJroi addunt i£ Z>v omnes libn excepto B 

6 f^oifot Gassendi • Zx oyTtr bbri 7 6tmpi\Tov Co Usener . 

libr. cett. 8 ,117 oi BP'Q : /lhj cett. ouru PCoF»Z : 

roJro BF 1 : oi r<p Giussant 



55 For even in things perceptible to us which change their 
shape by the withdrawal of matter it is seen that shape 
remains to them, whereas the qualities do not remain in 
the changing object, in the way in which shape is left 
behind, but are lost from the entire body. Now these 
particles which are left behind are sufficient to cause the 
differences in compound bodies, since it is essential that 
some things should be left behind and not be destroyed 
into the non-existent. 

Moreover, we must not either suppose that every size a The atoms 
exists among the atoms, in order that the evidence of ofg' 2 e*j,ut iei 
phenomena may not contradict us, but we must suppose not all sizes, 
that there are some variations of size. For if this be the for t , h , e J 1 some 

would become 

case, we can give a better account of what occurs in our visible 

56 feelings and sensations. But the existence of atoms of 
every size is not required to explain the differences of 
qualities in things, and at the same time some atoms 
would be bound to come within our ken and be visible , 
but this is never seen to be the case, nor is it possible 
to imagine how an atom could become visible. 

Besides this we must not suppose that in a limited body b The parts 
there can be infinite parts or parts of every degree °^ ° f jjj* parts 
smallness. Therefore, we must not only do away with f a limited 
division into smaller and smaller parts to infinity, in order body cannot 

111 De infinite m 

that we may not make all things weak, and so in the com- number or 
position of aggregate bodies be compelled to crush and jnfimiely 
squander the things that exist into the non-existent, but 
we must not either suppose that in limited bodies there 
is a possibility of continuing to infinity in passing even to 

57 smaller and smaller parts. For if once one says that For, if they 
there are infinite parts in a body or parts of any degree are, («) the 
of smallness, it is not possible to conceive how this should b ° ifm^dm 
be, and indeed how could the body any longer be limited sue, 

in size ? (For it is obvious that these infinite particles 

must be of some size or other ; and however small they 

may be, the size of the body too would be infinite.) And and (A) m the 

again, since the limited body has an extreme point, which g™ t %"'° n 

is distinguishable, even though not perceptible by itself, points it is 

you cannot conceive that the succeeding point to it is not ™ '^n^ 6 

C to infinity 


Kara to f£f}s els Tovp,irpoo-0ev (3abC£ovri els t6 aireLpov 
vir&pXew koto, (rd) toiovtov a<ptKvti<T0ai rfj ivvoCq. | t6 re 
l\axi(TTOv to Iv rfj alo-0rjcrei Set Karavotiv Sri ovre touovt6v 
iortv olov to rat p.cra/3d<rets fx " oSre irdvrj] -navrais 
&v6uoioi>, dAA' $x ov ^ v Tiva KOLVonjTa tS>v p.eTaf3ar&v } 
5 8tdAjj\^ti> be fiep£tv ovk tyov dAA' orai» bia rr)v rrjs kolvott)- 
tos npoo-ep.<plpeiav olrj6u> bia\r)\\re<r0al rt avrov, to fxtv 
eVtrdSe, to be kitiKeiva, r<J Icrov fip.iv Set 'npoo-nivret.v. I£tJs 
re 6eu»povp.ev ravra dird tov -npatTov KaTapyop.(vot (cat ovk 
tp rut airy, oibe jxepeai fiepwv airrofxeva, dAA' r) e*v rfj 
io IbioTTjri rfj eavrair ra p.eyidrj Karap-erpovvra, to. irXeCco tt\(lov 
(tat ra lAdYroo iharrov. ravrjj tjj draAoyt'a vouicrriov Kal t6 
iv rfj aTd/u.<|> eAdx 10 " 1 " 01 ' Kexpyc&ar \ p-iKp6rr]Tt yap ^Ketvo brjKov 
its bia<pepei tov Kara, rijv aiardrja-iv decopovp.e'vov, avakoyiq 
Se rfj avrfj K^xp^rai. iirel nep Kai on fieye0os i\ fL V aro/ios, 
Kara tj;i> (r£i») ivravOa avakoylav Karr]yop^o-ap.ev, p.iKpov 
5 rt p.6vov fiaKpav iKftaWovres. Irt re ra eAdxicra Kal 
afxiyrj -nipara Set vop.C£eiv, to>v y.r)K&v to Karap-^rp-qpa i£ 
airCiv irpdirwv rots jLie££oo-t (tat e'AdYrocrt irapao-Keva^ovra, 
Trj bia \6yov 0eaiptq im tgiv aoparaiv. ?/ yap Koivorrjs rj 
{nrapxovcra airois Trpbs ra d/uerd/SoAa Ua^j/ to n*XP l tovtov 
io o-iOTeAeVaf <rvfi<popr]cnv hi tK tovtwv klvtjo-lv i'x° VTa > v 0V X 
olov re yev4o-0ai. | 

Kat pyv Kal roC diretpov &>s fj.ei» drcordra) tj Kartordr<f> 
ov Set Karfjyopeli' ro &Va) r) Karat' els p.e'vroi to v-nip 
Kf<pa\r}s, 50ev av arutp-ev, els aneipov ayeiv {iv)bi> pribirrore 
cpaveicrdai rovro rjpXv i) ro tJ7ro(cdrto tov voTjdtvTos els 

?f3nSi(om Usener: ftaScCovra llbn IO Kara] Kai ro Muehll 

supplevit Schneider 58 4 fifTaffaruiv Schneider • /«Ta- 

Pavrwv hbn S aXX" Stop Cobet ■ d\X' firr (a\Xor« H PQ) iibn 

59 3 K *XP1 Tal Gassendi : xe xp^t & &<> ' hbn 4 (r»i-) supplevit Usener 

5 paKpav Usener : paKp6v libri jV^aXXowtr] tV/3aXdtTer Usener 

6 o/uiyi] ap*pT> von Arnim /ty/cur BP'Q : fuKpStv F : finxpav GHP'Z 

7 avrSv Usener: aiTSvlibn wat/rav H PQ : npSrrov BFGZ post 
irapacrK*va{ovra hiatum indicavit Usener 9 a^cra^oXa] a^ifra- 
/3ara Usener : ptra^nra VOn Arnim 10 toutojv] ro^Tuv ii^ tSiv 

Bignone *x6vr<ov] (ovk) i^wiiv Bneger 60 1 otototm 

Usener: luwdru hbn ^ GHPCoZ: Kal BFQ Kar<urdr«ji Usener: 
narurara hbn 2 post Kanj-yopiJi' hiatum indicavit Usener fir 
Itivrot H'P'QCo: Xttptv rot B: pivroi FGH'P'Z 3 trr£>pt» 
BH PQCo : rS ^*eF FGZ uync (»V)of scripsi : ay<»v 6x f&v FG) libri . 
r«u>ov Usener : Sytiv (J()&t' Giussam : Sytiv (voovo-i, SijXyov Bignone 


$imilar in character, or that if you go on in this way from 
one point to another, it should be possible for you to 
proceed to infinity marking such points in your mind. 

58 We must notice also that the least thing in sensation is a The mmi- 
neither exactly like that which admits of progression from J,"" 1 ,,"™'* 
one part to another, nor again is it in every respect wholly without parts 
unlike it, but it has a certain affinity with such bodies, 

yet cannot be divided into parts But when on the analogy 

of this resemblance we think to divide off parts of it, one 

on the one side and another on the other, it must needs 

be that another point like the first meets our view And 

we look at these points in succession starting from the and is ihe 

first, not within the limits of the same point nor in contact f 

part with part, but yet by means of their own proper sue 

characteristics measuring the size of bodies, more in a 

59 greater body and fewer in a smaller. Now we must Similarly, 
suppose that the least part in the atom too bears the same 
relation to the whole ; for though in smallness it is obvious visible parts 
that it exceeds that which is seen by sensation, yet it has m the atom ' 
the same relations. For indeed we have already declared 

on the ground of its relation to sensible bodies that the 
atom has size, only we placed it far below them in small- 
ness. Further, we must consider these least indivisible which are the 
points as boundary-marks, providing in themselves as unllsof 

r . . •> v b measuremenl. 

primary units the measure of size for the atoms, both for 
the smaller and the greater, 111 our contemplation of these 
unseen bodies by means of thought. For the affinity 
which the least parts of the atom have to the homogeneous 
parts (of sensible things) is sufficient to justify our con- 
clusion to this extent . but that they should ever come 
together as bodies with motion is quite impossible. 

60 [Furthermore, in the infinite we must not speak of 'up ' ri„ wnat 
or 'down ', as though with reference to an absolute highest senSe tnere 
or lowest — and indeed we must say that, though it is possible upwar d an d 
to proceed to infinity in the direction above our heads j^" 1 ™"^ V™ 
from wherever we take our stand, the absolute highest 

point will never appear to us — nor yet can that which 
passes beneath the point thought of to infinity be at the 

c 2 


5 Aireipov &p.a 4vw re tivai Kal k&tw Trpoy to avti' tovto 
yap abivarov biavorjdijvai. tocrre {cm fiiav Aa/3«u» <popav 
rt)v &va> voovpUvr\v tls Hizcipov Kal piCav tt)i> k&th>, &v Kal 
fxvpiaKis irpbs tovs Trofias t&v iirivci) to nap' r\pJ$v (ptpopttvov 
(ly) tovs virep KfcpaKrjs rjft&v tSttovs CKpiKvijTai rj ivl tt)i> 
10 K((pa\rjV t&v vttoko'tu) to Trap' fffiStv k<It<o <f>ep6fitvov f] yap 
oAtj <popa oi$ev t\ttov (Karipa iKaripa avTiKfifxivr) Itc 
&TTttpov voeirai. | 

61 Kai p.rjv Kal itroraxeiy ivaynaiov ray aropiovs etvai, &tov 

fita tov tcevov (lo-<p4pa>VTai fj.rjd(vbs clvtikotttovtos. ovre 
yap ra /3ape'a Bclttov olcr6i'}o-(Tai t&v p.inpG>v Kal Kovcpiov, 
8rav ye br] pirjbev cnravrd. avrots- ovre to. puKpa t&v pteyak&v, 
5 rrivra iropov avp.p\€Tfiov i)(OVTa, otov p.r)0\v p.r)h\ iicelvois 
avriKOTtrp' ovd' f) avco ovd' r) (Is to Ttkayiov bia T&v 
Kpoia-«av (popd, ovd' fj kvltco bia t&v ibCav (3ap&v. £<p' 
oitSa-ov yap av Karlo-\ri kKaTtp(a avr)&v, cttI too-ovtov ajua 
vo^fxaTt rt]v <popav ayjio-fi, Huts (av ri) avTiKoxfrp, rj ifceoOtv 
10 tj iic tov Iblov fidpovs -npbs rrjv tov Trkrifcavros bvvaptw. j 

46 b Kai p.r\v Kal f/ bia tov ksvov cpopa Kara p,r)bep.Lav a7rdvrrio-iv 
tS>v &vTiKO\j/oirT(i}V yivop,ivtf nav p.T}Kos TrtpiXrjTrrbv £v cnrepi- 
ywjrw XP°'"P ovvTt^ei. ppdbovs yap Kal Tayovs aVTiKOifi) 

6a Kal ovk avriKOTn] 6p.oCu}p.a Aa/^/3aVet. | dXXa pt,i)v Kal Kara 
ray avyKpLo-ds ddrraiv erepa erepay prjd-qatTai t&v drdp-cav 
lo-ora\&v ovo~&v, t& i<f>' Zva tottov <p(peo-0ai ray ev rots 
aOpoiaiiacriv ard/uovs Kai Kara tov ikd^icrTov a~vv(xv XP° vov ' 
5 fl fir] i<p' tva Kara tovs hdyu> OetopriTovs XP^ V0VS > 

9 (f's) supplevit Usener 61 2 etcrcpt'parrai GH'P ! : tlo-typavra 
P'Q : titrfyepovrai FH 1 ' fltr(f>tpovT( B : fit (f va tottov) <f>cph>vrni Bneger 
3 to j3<ipca] r<i (fi«ydXa icol) fiupta Usener in commentano /lucpuv 
Kill delevit Gassendi 4 artavrq Usener: Annvra BP'Co : Snavra 
F: arrnvrav libr. cett. post ra fuxpa supplevit PpaSurtpnir Usener 
5 i\ovT<i] f\6vTti>v Glussani 8 t<«r€p(a avr)a>v SCripsi : fKaripwv 
libri : Uartpov Usener 9 (JIp t») supplevit Usener 10 ?rpAr rr/v 
tov n\rj$nvTns dvvafiiv ut glossema. seclusit Usener : irpoe rqv (tK) tov 
ir\. Siip. Bjgnone 46 I —4 *nt w *«' • . . &noia>fin \apj3aiitt hunc 
locum ex § 40 petitum hue inseri mssit Giussani 2 AvriKo^rov- 

rofv Usener: avriKo^avTaiv libri • a"rtKOTtT6fTa>v Giussani 3 3(j«5"ur 
BGH , P 1 Q : ppadCmjTos FH*P»Z 62 I k«; delevit Bricger 

3 Biirrmv Z'f : Barrov codd. cett. : (oi) darrwv Usener i>rfih~ 
trrrm] oiVflijerfrat Kuhn : (pnpT)6r)o-tTat Bneger 3 Ttp] Kai to F 

unde jciI»> toi vel ko'i (icara) tu comecit Bignone 4 <ac delevit 

Usener tov tkaxurrav Meibom: t&v tXaxurrav libri 5 tl 



same time both up and down in reference to the same 
thing: for it is impossible to think this. So that it is 
possible to consider as one single motion that which is 
thought of as the upwards motion to infinity and as another 
the downward motion, even though that which passes 
from us into the regions above our heads arrives countless 
times at the feet of beings above and that which passes 
downwards from us at the head of beings below; for none 
the less the whole motions are thought of as opposed, the 
one to the other, to infinity.] 

61 Moreover, the atoms must move with equal speed, when C The mo- 
they are borne onwards through the void, nothing colliding |'™ 8 oft ^ 
with them For neither will the heavy move more quickly move always 
than the small and light, when, that is, nothing meets ?^u"' k r * t s e 
them: nor again the small more quickly than the great, thought', 
having their whole course uniform, when nothing collides "g^t nor 
with them either : nor is the motion upwards or sideways direction 
owing to blows (quicker), nor again that downwards owing ™fc r "n L a e ny 
to their own weight. For as long as either of the two 
motions prevails, so long will it have a course as quick as 
thought, until something checks it either from outside or 
from its own weight counteracting the force of that which 

46 1 dealt the blow. Moreover, their passage through the Their speed 
void, when it takes place without meeting any bodies a S b |'y C g" e c a e t IV " 
which might collide, accomplishes every comprehensible 
distance in an inconceivably short time. For it is collision 
and its absence which take the outward appearance of 

6a slowness and quickness. Moreover, it will be said that In compound 
in compound bodies too one atom is faster than another, really 
though as a matter of fact all are equal in speed this will move at ihe 
be said because even in the least period of continuous Jhoueh*an 
time all the atoms in aggregate bodies move towards one inference 
place, even though in moments of time perceptible only [[^"^g'lJf" 
by thought they do not move towards one place but are deny this 
constantly jostling one against another, until the continuity 

f 1 )] 5 /*') Usener : «rn Giussani : tl (khi) fir) Muehll Kara tovs 
Arfyoi titapryrovs ^poVovr ut glossema seclusit Usener 



TWKvbv hmK6irrov(riv, ta>s hv tiitb -n\v al<r&r]<rw rd o-vi»fx* s 
rfjs <f>opas yCvqrai. to yap npoo-bo£a£6pevov itepl tov 
ii.op6.rov, iff tpa Kal ol Bia Xoyov 0«opr)Tol xpwoi to ovvexks 
Trjs (popas ifcovcrw, ovk aXrjdei iariv ini tu>v toiovtoiv 
to inel to ye Qempovp.evov itctv rj kot eTTiftoXTjv \apL0av6pevov 
47 b Trj biavoiq a\i)6is eo~riv. | oil p.yv oi8' a/xa Kara tovs Bia 
koyov dewprjTovs \p6vovs Kal to <pepop.evov <ra>fj.a iiri tovs 
■nkelovs Toitovs dgiiKVeiTai (aBiaiwjTov ydp, Kal tovto crwa- 
<piKi>ovp,evov iv ala-0T]TS> XP° V< ? oQev brjiroOev tov aireCpov 
5 ovk i£ ov av Trepi\afiu>pitv tt)V (popav tottov torai a<picrra- 
fievov)' avTiKOTtr) yap op.oiov lorat, kuv /ote'xpi too-ovtov TO 

Ta^OS Tt}S qjOp&S /J.7J OVTIKOHTOV KaTa\ClTOip.(V. XPV°' 1 I JL0V 

8t/ Kal tovto Karao-\tiv to a-roi\(lov. | 

63 M«Ta Be ravra Set crvvopav avatpepovra i-nl Tas alo-Orjo-eis 

Kal Ta Trddt} (ovtco yap ?; /3e/3aioTaT?7 tt'lotis eforai), oti rj 
■v/'i'X'j <rS>p.d ecrTi XeTTTofxepes Trap' o\ov rd &0po{.a-p.a Ttapeo-irap- 
p\evov, -nporrep-cpepeo-TaTov Be Trvevp,aTl 6epp.ov Tiva Kpaav 
5 ?\ovti Kal Trjj p.ev tovtio ■npoo~ep,(pepe's, urj be tovtq. (art 
he to p,epos TroWrjv Trapa\\ayr]v el\rj<pbs tjJ \e7JTO/xepeia 
/cal avrwv tovtoov, o-v/XTrades be tovtio fxakXov Kal rai A.oi7rai 
aOpoCa-piaTi- tovto be irav ai bvvdp.eis Tjjy ^XV 5 brjkov 
{ttoiovo-i) Kal to. irdOri Kal ai evKivrjo-iai. Kal ai 5uxvorjo-et.s 
10 Kal 3>v crTep6p.evoi 6vf\o-Kop,ev. ko.1 pltjv kol oti «x«t f] 
yfrvxh tt]s alo-drja-etos ri)v irXeCcn-qv alrCav, Bet KaT^ew \ 

6+ ov p.r}v el\rjq^ei b\v TavrrjV, el p.r/ vtto tov AociroC a6polo-p.a.Tos 
io-TeyAQeTo ttcos. to be Xonrbv adpoio-p:a TrapacrKevdo-av 
eKeCvy Trjv ahCav Tavrrjv /xere^Xijipe Kal avrb tolovtov arvfi- 
TTT<ip.aTOi ■nap'' fKe&rjy, ov /xeVrol ttuvTaiV 5>v iKeCvrj KeKTrjrar 
5 bib airaWayeCcrris rrjs ^vx^* OVK ^X ft T V V alo-Qricriv. oil 

6 atTutorrTouffiv Gassendi . dirriKOTTTaxriv hbn 47 1-8 ol unv 
ovfti . . . rb amixtlnr hunc locum ex § 47 petitum hue transfem 
iussit Gmssani 1 old' Sfta] oUff Spa Usener ■ <>v8<ifiij Bignone 
1 Ka'i to <p*p6)i(vov Usener : Kara to <f>*pintvov hbn : nvro to (ptpdfiivav 
Muehll : xn\ TaTto$>fp6y.tvr>v Bignone 3 avva$>iKV«vfitv<>v) oCt' 

a<piKvi,{i(uvav Usener . ovrt trvi>a<piKvuvtxtvov Giussani 6 too-ovtov 
linn plenque : toutou BG 7 auriKn-nrftv scnpsi : rimerim-ny 

Usener: avrncowcov B (sine accentu) GHP'Q: atrncom-.W FP 4 Z 
63 4 irvtvpaTi] tnripnari F 5 Sari de to ptpor] tart fit n pipoi 

Woltjer: im Be tov (Upovc Usener: frrn be t6 y iifpos Diels 
8 brjkav (jtoioCo-i) Bneger : brjkov hbn : dijXoCo-t Gassendi : Bifj-yo*- 



of their movement comes under the ken of sensation. 

For the addition of opinion with regard to the unseen, 

that the moments perceptible only by thought will also 

contain continuity of motion, is not true in such cases; 

for we must remember that it is what we observe with the 

senses or grasp with the mind by an apprehension that 

47 b is true Nor must it either be supposed that in moments Nor of course 

perceptible only by thought the moving body too passes ^oie'body 

to the several places to which its component atoms move perform the 

(for this too is unthinkable, and in that case, when it ' ra J ects ofa " 
» ' t its component 

arrives all together in a sensible period of time from any atoms 

point that may be in the infinite void, it would not be 
taking its departure from the place from which we appre- 
hend its motion) ; for the motion of the whole body will be 
the outward expression of its internal collisions, even 
though up to the limits of perception we suppose the 
speed of its motion not to be retarded by collision. It is 
of advantage to grasp this first principle as well. 

63 Next, referring always to the sensations and the feelings v. The soul. 
(for in this way you will obtain the most trustworthy ^^"5™" 
ground of belief), you must consider that the soul is a atoms, like 
body of fine particles distributed throughout the whole w,nd and , , 

, ,,. ■ . . heal, and of 

structure, and most resembling wind with a certain admix- the third, 

ture of heat, and in some respects like to one of these and m ° re subtle, 

■ t^i 1 • , , • element 

in some to the other. J here is also the part which is 

many degrees more advanced even than these in fineness 

of composition, and for this reason is more capable of 

feeling in harmony with the rest of the structure as well. 

Now all this is made manifest by the activities of the soul 

and the feelings and the readiness of its movements and 

its processes of thought and by what we lose at the moment 

of death. Further, you must grasp that the soul possesses 2 . The soul 

64 the chief cause of sensation : yet it could not have acquired has sen3atl °n 

J ^ owing to its 

sensation, unless it were in some way enclosed by the rest protection 
of the structure. And this in its turn having afforded the wuhmihe 

body, to 

soul this cause of sensation acquires itself too a share in which 11 ihen 
this contingent capacity from the soul. Yet it does not j™,™'^' 
acquire all the capacities which the soul possesses : and 
therefore when the soul is released from the body, the 


yap airrb iv iavrtp ravrrjv ^k^kttjto rifv bvvap.iv, dXX' ir4p<fi 
&fia o-vyyeyevr)}xe'vu> avrtti napeo-Keva^ev, b bid rfjs owreKe- 
o-Oeiarqs irepl avrb bvvdp.ea>s Kara riji> k(vt\o-iv a-dunrcopM 
aladrfriKOv evdvs diroreXovv iavrip dirtMbov Kara t))v bfiod- 

65 pr\oa> KOi o-vpirdOeiav zeal iKt(va>, KaBdwep et-nov. | bib br} 
ical ivtnrdpxpva-a f) ^vyi) ovbe'irore &Wov nvbs pdpovs dm]Way- 
pJvov dvat<rdr}Trjcrei AAA' a av Kal tovttjs frvairdkrjrai tov 
areydCpvTos KvdivTos dd' o\ov tWt Kal pJpovs rtvds, Idv 

5 irep biafiiirp, ttjv aXcrOrjaiv rd be \onrbv adpoicrua 

buipUvov kolI o\ov Kal Kara, fxepos ovk l\ei rijv al<r0r)crw 
iKtCvov dTrr\\kayp.ivov, ocrov itoTe iari to <ruvreivov tS>v 
drdp-aiv tt\t}8os els ttjv rrjs ^rvxv^ tpvo'tv. Kal p\r\v Kal 
bia\vo)x4vov tov oKov affpoCo-p-aros f/ ^vxv biacrireCpeTat 
10 Kai ovk4ti Hyei T ^- s avras bvvdp.(ts oibe KivtTrai, a>are ovb' 

66 a%<rBr)<nv k^kttitol | ov yap 6l6v t« votiv avrb alo-davd/J.fvov 
p.t) {bit) iv TOVTtp rip o-vcrT-qpan Kal raty Kivrjcren-L ravrais 
XP<&I4(V0V, orav rd <rreyd<*birra Kal nepie\ovTa pvrj roiavra jj, 

67 iv oTs vvv ovo-a t\ei radras ras KWT/creiy. | dXXa p.Tjv Kal 
robe ye 5t? upoo-KaTavoeiv Sri to do-a>y.aTov Kiyerai Kara 
ttjv TrKeCarriv 6uL\(av tov 6vdp.aTOs inl tov KaO' iavrb vot)- 
Oivros &v. Ka9' iavrb be ovk (fori vorjerat to dcr(ip.aTov 

5 tt\tiv tov Kevov- to be Kevbv ovre 7roi7j<rai ovre iraOeiv 
bdvarat, &Wh Klvqaiv fidvov 5i' eavrov tois adtaao-t ■napl- 

64 6 irtp<i> . . . <rvyyty*vripivo> Bneger : mpa> . . • crvyyttuvij- 
[tf'vw libn : trtpov . . frvyytytviHiivov Usener 8 avrb libn 

plenque : avra H X Z KiviprLv BP'Q: dt^rja-tv FHP S : Svvtjatv 

GIL 65 3 ivaia6riTT]<Tf t Kuhn : aj'aiirftjo-Jl B avaujOtitria llbr. 

cett. : dvaicrBiiTfl Schneider d\\' & &i> FP* : aAXtt &v libr. cett. 

rairrji Usener • ravrq hbri ^wtmoKrjrai G : f ui/airdXXiyrai FH PQ : 

£watr6X\vTai BCo S ?£ti Usener : o£w hbn : cryf<i Muehll 

6 Kal KdTa fttpot FG : Kara fiepor BHPQCo: Kal fiipos Usener 
9 diaXvo/ifPov F • Svofttvov B : Xvofttvov libr. cett. 10 Kivtirat] 
Kivr)<rt\t Bignone : (rat auras Kivijo-tis) supplendum censuit Brieger 

66 1 avr6] ri Usener 2 (8»>) supplendum suspicatus est Usener 
4 olr] uLois coniecit Usener 67 2 Sri] 3 rt Usener X«'y»rai 
Bignone : \iyti yap libn : \iyofuv Muehll : verba Xe'yti yap Kara tijv 
ir\t'ta-rr]v &iu\iav ut glossema seclusit Usener 3 <aff iavri 
Stephanus : *a6' iawbv libn 5 oCre] cCSi coniecit Usener 


67 I post Kal tA&* legitur X«y«i iv dXXotr ko\ i£ cnofuav avrrjv 
avyKturdai \norarav Kal trrpoyyv\wTaTu>v, noWcp rivt blntfitpovtrior rap 
tov irvp6t' Kal t6 pAv ri akaytsv avrr\t, h r<p XoiirA nap*trnap8ai aapm-V 
t6 it Xoyucov iv 6i>paxt, us brfkov tK rt ran <p6fim> Kal ttji yapac. 



body no longer has sensation. For it never possessed 
this power in itself, but used to afford opportunity for it 
to another existence, brought into being at the same time 
with itself : and this existence, owing to the power now 
consummated within itself as a result of motion, used 
spontaneously to produce for itself the capacity of sensation 
and then to communicate it to the body as well, in virtue 
of its contact and correspondence of movement, as 1 have 

65 already said. Therefore, so long as the soul remains in 3 Even 
the body, even though some other part of the body be lost, o'nhebody * 
it will never lose sensation ; nay more, whatever portions be lost the 
of the soul may perish too, when that which enclosed it is ^n^on 
removed either in whole or in part, if the soul continues 

to exist at all, it will retain sensation. On the other hand but if the soul 
the rest of the structure, though it continues to exist either bSjy^^eg 
as a whole or in part, does not retain sensation, if it to feel ; 
has once lost that sum of atoms, however small it be, 
which together goes to produce the nature of the soul. 
Moreover, if the whole structure is dissolved, the soul is and so does 
dispersed and no longer has the same powers nor performs IX^the 
its movements, so that it does not possess sensation either, body is 

66 For it is impossible to imagine it with sensation, if it is broken up 
not in this organism and cannot effect these movements, 

when what encloses and surrounds it is no longer the 
same as the surroundings in which it now exists and per- 

67 forms these movements Furthermore, we must clearly 4 The soul 
comprehend as well, that the incorporeal in the general "corporeal, 
acceptation of the term is applied to that which could be for if it were 
thought of as such as an independent existence. Now it In^'porea^ 
is impossible to conceive the incorporeal as a separate mdependent 
existence, except the void : and the void can neither act void'^could 6 
nor be acted upon, but only provides opportunity of motion not act or be 

acted on. 


vTrfoit rt ytvtcrBtu tuv rqt ^uvTjr pepaiv tow Trap* oKt)v rf}V trvyKptatv 
Traptirrrnppivav iyKaTtxaptvav i) iwfpnpovptvwv, ttra evpmiTTOiiTatii ru\s 
intptuffiots. t6 rt trntppa a<f>' o\av tuv aopdrav (jitptadat 

p,iv ri epit. vat. Cobet ptvroi libn iraptandpBai Schneider : 
napt<rnap6ri B s : napttrapBpti B 1 FGHPQCo: napMTaBpti Z 8wpaKi 
llbri plerique : a-apari GZ ovinrrnr&vruyv] ip,nmr6vruv F : unde 
iieirmr6vTutv Giussani (irtpfurpoh Usener: Tropy/xoit B H P'Q : 
'n-op/ioir F (sc. tirvppoit) : (Vrrnp/xcVoir GZ : nopon Traversarius 


\eTat. &<r& > ol keyovrts d<r<i>p.arov tlvai rrjv \frvxw p^rq.- 
Covcrtv. ovOev yap hv ibvvaro iroifiv ovre Trd<rxttv, el r)v 
roiavrrj' vvv 8' Ivapy&s dp.<porepa ravra biaXapLfidverai wept 
ttjv \frvxr]v ra (rvpLTrrtipMra. I ravra ovv Trdvra to. biaKoyCa-ftara 
(ra) ntpt ifrvxvs avdyuv ris iirt ra. TrdOrj Kal ras ato-drjo-ets, 
pLvr)u,ovevu)V r&v Iv dp)(rj pr\6£vTmv, Ikov&s Kard\j/eTat Tots 
nJirois e'p.irfpieik-qp.p.e va els to (xai to) Kara, //epos airo 

5 rovriov i£aKpi(3ovcr0at /3e/3a£u>s. 

'AAAd urjv Kal ra o-yjipara Kal rd xP&P- aTa fa p.eye6r) 
Kal rd /3dpi; Kal Sera Karrjyopeirai crdparos axravel 
avpL^e^rfKOTa rj Ttdo-iv r) rots oparots Kai Kara ti\v atcrffrfatv 
avrS>v yva>arois, ovff' <Ls Ka6' kavrds elat <pv(reis bo^aareov 
(ov yap bvvarbv tmvofj<rai rovro), | ovre oAu>s <5>s ovk elcrCv, 
ovt9' ws Irep drra -npocrvndpxovTa rovrtp d<r<i>iiara, ovd' &js 
p.dpia rovrov, dAA' a>s rd okov <r5>p.a Kadokov p.ev (ex) rovroiv 
■ndvrtav rrjv kavrov <pv<riv fx " dCbiov, ovx olov 8' elvat (e»c) 

5 crvu-necpop-qpitvuiv {uxnrep orav e£ avr&v rS>v oyKcov uet£ov 
ddpoiap-a ovarrj r/rot rS>v irpwriov r) rwv rov okov p.eye$S>v 
rovbe twos ekarrovw), ciAAd \xovov, a>s Ae'yco, Ik rovrcov 
dirdvroiv ttjv eavrov (pva-iv e^of dlbiov. /cat e7rt/3oAay y.ev 
^\ovra IbCas Trdvra ravra tcrri Kal biakrj^reis, a-vfi-napaKo\ov- 
10 Oovvtos be rov dOpuov Kal dTTOcrxtCop-evov, dkka Kara 
rr)v ddpoav tvvoiav rov adfxaros Karr\yopiav el\rjcp6ros. \ 

Kal piTjV Kal rois a(ip.arrt. crv^nrtTTTei iroWdKis Kal ovk dibiov 
napaKokovOelv ***** ovt* ev rot's dopdYots eivat ovre do-wpLara. 

9 SidknufiavfTat scripsi . &ca\auf3av(i llbn : SiaXttpfidveis Blg- 
none : flinXa/i/3di>o/ifv Meibom: av/iffalvti Usener 68 2 (ru) 

supplevit Usener 4 (icril ra) supplevit Usener 7 #a/ji) 

Usener : fiapin 7 libri uiaavtl crvfi&tfirjKoTa Galesius £>s iv «r 
aira j3'^r;ic(ir(i llbn : is &V aft ffv/i/3»j3i)iC(JTn Blgnone 9 avra>v 

yvaa-ToU P s : ainols yvuHrrols libr. cett. : crajfiaror yiwora Usener 
69 2 odd' ir Gassendi : <W nC6' (0M 1 FQ) hbn trep Hrra 
Usener : trtpn ro hbn 3 (*'*) supplevit Meibom 4 («'«) 

supplevi 5 o-v>int4iopr](ilva>v BQP'Co : av)urf<i>uipT))jLtvov F 6 /«yc- 
^iv] fupa>v Schneider 7 toOS* rtv«r Usener • rov St tuoc 

libn 8 itivrov] iavrSiv HPQ 10 ov6<ifijf Usener: ovffapij 

BP'Q: oibiifirj libr. cett. dirinT\i^opAvov\ aitotrx^ofiivov B : diro- 

o-Xi(6p'va Usener 11 tt\ji<p6rot] itkr)(p6Ta Usener 70 2 napa- 
Ko\ov6tlv libr. plenque : impaKo\ov6tl B : irnpaKoKovBel 3 y* 
Blgnone : post n-apaxoXovtfeiK lacunam mdicavit Usener nuai 



through itself to bodies So that those who say that the 
soul is incorporeal are talking idly. For it would not be 
able to act or be acted on in any respect, if it were of chis 
nature. But as it is, both these occurrences are clearly 

68 distinguished in respect of the soul. Now if one refers all These general 
these reasonings about the soul to the standards of feeling w'li supply 
and sensation and remembers what was said at the outset, * h ( BS | s for 
he will see that they are sufficiently embraced in these 

general formulae to enable him to work out with certainty 
on this basis the details of the system as well. 

Moreover, as regards shape and colour and size and VI. Proptrtus 
weight and all other things that are predicated of body, ^Properties 
as though they were concomitant properties either of all are not 
things or of things visible or recognizable through the cotpo^eal 6 "' 
sensation of these qualities, we must not suppose that existences or 
they are either independent existences (for it is impossible ^stencesor 

69 to imagine that), nor that they absolutely do not exist, nor parts of body, 
that they are some other kind of incorporeal existence separable" 
accompanying body, nor that they are material parts of physical con- 
body : rather we should suppose that the whole body in body,"' 3 ° f 
its totality owes its own permanent existence to all these, but body owes 
yet not in the sense that it is composed of properties ,ts essential 
brought together to form it (as when, for instance, a larger aggregate of 
structure is put together out of the parts which compose propeities, al- 

. , . _ r . . .. ways existing 

it, whether the first units of size or other parts smaller m lt not 
than itself, whatever it is), but only, as I say, that it owes umiing to 
its own permanent existence to all of them. All these 
properties have their own peculiar means of being per- 
ceived and distinguished, provided always that the aggre- 
gate body goes along with them and is never wrested Irom 
them, but in virtue of its comprehension as an aggregate 
of qualities acquires the predicate of body. 

70 Furthermore, there often happen to bodies and yet do a Accidents 

not permanently accompany them (accidents, of which we , nC orporeal 

must suppose neither that they do not exist at all nor that existences, 

they have the nature of a whole body), nor that they can q u a j llles and 

be classed among unseen things nor as incorporeal. So s ° on attached 
b to body, but 

senpsi: Kaii llbri: earai Usener : <c(«l avaurBffrois io^aa-riov flv)ai not perma- 



&trrt •drj Kara tt)v nXfCarrjv <popav tovto» t^J dvdpmri xpiip.evoi 
(pavtpct Ttoiovyiev ra ovfnn-rfiiJiaTa ofrre rr/v tov oXov <pvcru> 

5 e\(u>, h avXXafidvres Kara to aQpoov (ru/ia ■, 
ovt( tt)v t5>v aCbiov irapaKoXavOovvTatv, &v ivev awp.a ov 
bvvarbv voet<r&ai. kot tirtfioXas b 1 &v rtvay irapaKoXov- 
71 Bovvtos tov aOpSov tKacrra vpoa-ayopivdeCrj, | dAA' ore bt)Trore 
tKaora avp-fiad'ovra QfoiptLrai, ovk aCbiov to>v crvpTtTOipAratv 
vapaKoXovOovvraiv. Kal ovk i&Xareov 2k tov 6vtos tovttjv 
Ttjv ivapytCav, on ovk ttjv tov oXov <fyv<riv <S avp.- 

5 fialvei ovbi ttjv tG>v aLbiov 7rapaKoXov0ovvTwv, ovb' ajr Ka0* 
avra vopiiiTTtov (pi/be yap tovto biavorjTtov ovr" e-nl tovtojv 
ovt iirl tG>v Mbiov ej3t] kotcov), clXX' Strep Kal (paCverai., 
frvij.TTT (ap.ara irdv(ra Ka)ro ra crdpara vopuo~r4ov, Kal ovk 
aCbiov rrapaKoXovdovvra ovb"" av (pvaeojs KaG' eavra, rdyp-a 
1° %X.ovTa, /iAA' hp Tp6irov avrrj ij aJtrffyjcrif r?]i> Ibiorrjra -notfi 
8ea>pctTat. | 

79 Kal (i-ijv Kal robe ye bet irpoo-Ka.Tavorj<rat c^c/>o8p<2s• tov 

yap 6i) \p6vov ov Qt]tt]t{ov uxnrep Kal to. Acrnrd, o<ra ev 
vTtoK(ip.i'v<M> ^rovfiev avayovres Itti ray /3XtTropievas nap' 
7)p.1v aiiTols wpoX^f is, aAA' avrd to ivapyrjp.a, Kad' b tov 
5 noXvv r) oXCyov \povov ava<pmvovp,ev, o-vyytvtK&s tovto 
iirKpepovras avaXoyio-rtov. Kal ovre SiaAe'/crovs o>s fieXrCovs 
p\eTaXr)TTTtov , dAA' avTais rats v-napxavaais /car' avrov 
XPT]0~r4ov aire &XXo ri kot' avrov KaTrjyoprjreov a>s ttjv 
avrr)v oxiaiav %X°v t<2 IbidfxaTi Toir<^ (koi yap tovto ttowvcti 
10 rive's), aXXa \16vov <S < to Ibiov tovto Kal rrapa- 

73 p-irpovyav, pAXurra iniXoyicrTfov. j Kal yap tovto ovk dno- 

bf(£ea)s irpoabelrai aAA' iiriXoynrp-ov, on rais r)p.4pai.s Kai 

5 4 FGZ: hv HPQCo: fjv B 6 aliiov BF: diSLav libr cett. 

8 post npotrayoptvfltLr} lacunam indicavit Usener 71 I o«] 

or<p Usener a di'Aiov Meibom : ai8iu>v libn 4 ivapy* iav\ ivtp- 
ytiav GH i F'GZ : S> B : 6 HPQCoF' 5 aibiov PCo : iihivv 
BGZ 6 SiavorjTtov] iiavoTfTov Bernays 7 mS<oi'] aiSiasv 

BFGZ 8 Trdv(ra ki^tA ra awfiara BlgTione : iravrn ra (rapara 

hbn : -rdrra <ra>p.arot Usener : ndvra ra roiavra Muehll IO d\\' 
iv] aAXov P'Q : d\\' (<Sv) hv coniecit Bignone 1 1 Btaptirai] 
6t»>ptlcr6tu vel BitnprfTcuv suspicatus est Usener 7a 6 iirKptpovras 
scripsi : mpupfpivret hbri : t'rri(pfpovT*s Usener 7—8 kot avrov 

■ . . xar avrov Gassendi : Kaff avrov . . . ku& avrov libri 9 ^X ov 

Usener : ix ** * libn {*x oyT W) 10 roOro BHP'Q: rovra FGP 2 

fX 4 post avpfiaivti legitur A irj Kai <ra>pa rrpocrayoptvoprv : in teztu 

retinuit Muehll 



that when according to the most general usage we employ 
this name, we make it clear that accidents have neither 
the nature of the whole, which we comprehend in its 
aggregate and call body, nor that of the qualities which 
permanently accompany it, without which a given body 
cannot be conceived. But as the result of certain acts ot 
apprehension, provided the aggregate body goes along 
71 with them, they might each be given this name, but only on 
occasions when each one of them is seen to occur, since 
accidents are not permanent accompaniments. And we Both their 
must not banish this clear vision from the realm of exis- 'JJf y,"'* 
tence, because it does not possess the nature of the whole transitory 
to which it is joined nor that of the permanent accompani- ^4?"" 
ments, nor must we suppose that such contingencies exist recognized, 
independently (for this is inconceivable both with regard 
to them and to the permanent properties), but, just as it 
appears in sensation, we must think of them all as accidents 
occurring to bodies, and that not as permanent accom- 
paniments, or again as having in themselves a place in the 
ranks of material existence ; rather they are seen to be 
just what our actual sensation shows their proper 
character to be. 

73 Moreover, you must firmly grasp this point as well ; we 3. Time is not 
must not look for time, as we do for all other things which by^^oncept, 
we look for in an object, by referring them to the general as are con- 
conceptions which we perceive in our own minds, but we and'quaht^es, 
must take the direct intuition, in accordance with which we but is a special 
speak of 'a long time' or 'a short time', and examine it, jjjjj^ accI " 
applying our intuition to time as we do to other things. 
Neither must we search for expressions as likely to be 
better, but employ just those which are in common use 
about it. Nor again must we predicate of time anything 
else as having the same essential nature as this special 
perception, as some people do, but we must turn our 
thoughts particularly to that only with which we associate 

73 this peculiar perception and by which we measure it. For 
indeed this requires no demonstration, but only reflection, 
to show that it is with days and nights and their divisions 



rats w£l avp.TrX.4KOfj.ev Kal tois tovtiov p.ipea-iv, Sta-wiruis 
be teal tois Ttkdetri. koX rais airadelais, Kal Kivrjo~eo-i Kal 

5 OT&tTtCTLV, XbuOV Tl 0-ijp.TTTinp.a TTepl TQ.VTCL Tl&kw aird TOVTO 

IvvoovvTti, Ka& b xp6vov 

'Eiri Te rots 7Tpoeipr)p.ivois tovs aSap-ovs btl Kal rrarrav 
o-6yKptcriv ire-nepacrpiv^v to bpoweibts Tots dempovp.e'vois 
TTVKV&t ()(ovo-av vop.C£eiv yeyovevai &ttS tov airtCpov, nivrtinv 
10 rovrmv Ik <rvo~Tpo<p(ov Iblmv &TTOKeKptp4vcov Kal pteiQovoov Kal 
i\arr6vu>v Kal ir&Xiv biaXveo-Bai -n&vTa, to. piev danov, 
tcL be Ppabvrepov, Kal ra p.ev into tS>v roi&vbe, ra be vitb 

74 t&v ToiZvbe Trdo-^ovra. [ eVi be Kal tovs KOcrp.ovs ovTe i£ 
avayKrjs bet vopt^ew eva n-^ripartcrpov ivovras * * * * » ovbe 
yap b.v cnrobei£eiev obbeCs, us (eV) p.ev t£ TowvTip koX ovk 
av ip.-nepu\r)<p6r) to. Toiavra o-nlpp.ara, wv £ij>cl re Kal <pvra. 

5 Kal to. Xonra navra (to) 6ea>pov/j.eva o-vvCa-Tarai, iv be t<$ 
Totovry ovk av ibvvrjOr). | 

75 'AAAa p.yv VTro\r}irrtov Kal rqv <pvaiv TroXXa Kal Ttavrola 
inb avrCiv t&v irpaypaTa)v biba^OrjvaC Tt ko.1 avayKao-dfjvaL' 
tov be Xoyicrp-bv Ta vtto tooths TrapeyyvrfdevTa vcrrepoi' 
i£aKpi.(3ovv koX Trpoo-e£cvpCo-K(iv iv p.iv tmtI Oarrov, iv fie 

5 ncrl fipabvrepov Kal iv piev nerl Treptobois Kal xpovois + anb 
tS>v anb tov airelpov^ * *, iv be ncrl Kal eXaTTOvs. oOev Kal 
to. 6vop.ara i£ &PXV S W<ret yevecrdai, aXX' avras Tas 

73 S f^"] navra Usener 7 tovs k6oho\>s\ tovs (ft} k6<tu.ovs 

suspicatus est Usener 8 d/jojof<3(i FPQCo : ofiixiSa BGHZ 

I J TTn<r\ovTii FGH'P*Z . ToCro o~\6a BP'Q: twto nd'r^ovra H* 

74 2 post ifxavrar verba genu ma scholio intruso expul&aesse indicant 
Usener 3 («V) supplevit Gassendi 5 (ja) supplevit Schneider 

75 2 atraiv tuv BHPQ* ra>v avrS>v F: ra>v avra>v tot GCoZ 
3 vtrrtpnv BP'Q : Kai vnrtpov codd cett. 5 " r ^ >v iiri rou 
an'tpnv ut glossema seclusit Usener d-rroTOfifjv pro dn& tmv legendo : 
retinuit Bignone qui {$>6Q »v firifavr nafxi<TKrva(*o-6ai Xwrnt) addere 
voluit Lacunam indicavit Usener 6 kol Usener: <car' hbn 


73 6 post 6vopci[ontv legltur <pr\<x\ 6e tovto Kat iv T5 bivrtpif Dtp] 
<pvo-fOS Kat iv rrj MeyaArj _ 

rij fifurepa hbn plenque : rjj p FGZ 
13 post ndo-xovra legltur 8i]\ov ouv «r Kai <f>0<iprovs (pr)o-i tovs 
Kotrfiovs )AtTafiaW6vTa>v to>v fiepatv. Kat iv HWots rqv yrjv rtf dipt 

bij\ov ... ical in textu retinuit et post Kal » * * (tat ivrjj , . . Iltpt 
<J>uirtu>r) adlCClt Muehll tpdaprovs BPCo : qbOdprasT : d<p6dp- 
tovs GZ Tour Kdo-fiovs Iibri plerique : rbv K&o-pov F 

74 2 post «x<"' Tar legltur aXXa Kai lSla<p6povs avrntis iv rjj ifi TltpX 
tpliirtwc <prjO~lv' ote piv yap (Ttpaipotibf'ir, Kai tpottStis aXXovt, xai aAXoiO- 



that we associate it, and likewise also with internal feelings 
or absence of feeling, and with movements and states of 
rest ; in connexion with these last again we think of this 
very perception as a peculiar kind of accident, and in virtue 
of this we call it time. 

And in addition to what we have already said we must VII Worlds, 
believe that worlds, and indeed every limited compound 
body which continuously exhibits a similar appearance to shafts, and 
the things we see, were created from the infinite, and that ""vv'orlda 
all such things, greater and less alike, were separated off are created 
from individual agglomerations of matter ; and that all are vo'dby means 
again dissolved, some more quickly, some more slowly, of separate 
some suffering from one set of causes, others from another, of matter and 

74 And further we must believe that these worlds were are similarly 
neither (created) all of necessity with one configuration (nor dls *° lve , d , 

l i • j r i_ r- l N a Worlds are 

yet with every kind of shape. furthermore, we must of various 
believe that in all worlds there are living creatures and sl "»P«- 
plants and other things we see in this world ;) for indeed f he \^ "™ a " 
no one could prove that in a world of one kind there might animals, 
or might not have been included the kinds of seeds from o^ s tS 
which living things and plants and all the rest of the 
things we see are composed, and that in a world of another 
kind they could not have been. 

75 Moreover, we must suppose that human nature too was VIII. The 
taught and constrained to do many things of every kind f3««fto» 
merely by circumstances; and that later on reasoning and the origin 
elaborated what had been suggested by nature and made ^ xhe^ans 
further inventions, in some matters quickly, in others were laught 
slowly, at some epochs and times (making great advances), ^veta'ped by d 
and lesser again at others. And so names too were not reason 

at first deliberately given to things, but men's natures a Language 
according to their different nationalities had their own n^dfrom 

axTjuovas trepovs' ov ptvroi nav (r^ij/ia %x tiVt ov&c £yu tlyat airoKptdivra 
airo tov ant'tpov 

verbum aXXa in textu retmuit Muehll Yltol (piafat Bneger . 

itfpl airov BHP 1 QCo : irtpl toCtov FGZ : irrp'i (<pv<re<of) aiirot 

Usener *x e ' v ' 1 ' jri p'enque . «^*ro( (9 olfiivroi . . . airtipov 

in textu retlnere volult Bneger 
6 post i$vvi)8i) Iegltur aaavrais Si Ka\ ivrpn<f>rjvat. tov avrhv it 
Tpanov koa <tti yrjs vopio~Tf0V 

ihv avruv . . . vopxariov in textu retinuit Muehll 



4>vareis t&p avOpumaw Kaff $ti(KTTa fdvr] ISta Ttaa\o6tras 
va(h) Kal 15 la \ap./3avovo-as <pavr&o~pMTa I5£wy rbv aipa 
10 iKTripirew <TT(\\6yi(vov i<j>' knaaruiv rav TtaB&v Kal tS>v 
tpavrao-pAruiv, cL? &v irore Kal f) Trapa rovs rdwovs r<3i» iOv&v 

76 biaQopci ttry | Zartpov be koiv&s icad' licaoTa Idurj ra Xbia 
reOrjvai yrpbs to ray brjkdtrels rjrrov ap<ptf36\ovs yeviaSai. 
akkrjkois real o-vvropMiTe'pcas brjKovpJvas' riva be icai ov 
a-vvopiipeva irpdypmra ela-<f>i povras robs o-vveib6ras itapey- 

5 yvrjaai rwas (pdoyyovs rovs (jJ^v) avayKao-Qivras avatpwv^o-ai, 
rovs be r(3 Aoytcrp.<p ekoptf'vovs Kara ri]V 7rA.e6mji* alrCav 
ovrajs tppr)vevo-at.. 

Kal pjjv (nai tt/i>) iv rots peredpois <popav (cat Tpotrr)v 
koX iKkeityiv Kai avarokriv Kal bvo-iv koX ra avaroixa rovroiy 
10 p.t)re keirovpyovvros rtvos vop.C£(tv bet yevio~6ai ko.1 Starar- 
tovtos Tf hiarA$avros Kai &fj.a rr\v iracrav fxaKapi6rr]Ta lyovros 

77<i a<f>Oap<r(as | (ov yap <rvp.<pa)Vov<ru> irpaypareiai Kal 
(ppovrCdes Kai dpyai Kal x<*P«"e? paKaptoTTjrt, dAA' iv aadeveCq 
Kai </>o/3<f> Kai TTptxrSejjcm ru>v Trkrjo-Cov ravra yiverat), p.rfre 
av irvp &p.a ovra o-vvearpap.p.e'vov rt]V paKapioTrjTa KeKTrjp.e'va 

5 Kara fiovkrpriv ras Kivrja-eis ravras kapfiavew akkh ttclv 
to atp^cop-a rrjpelv Kara" Trivra dvopara tptpopeva iirl ras 
rotavras ivvoCas, Zva fiijS' virevavrlai i£ avroiv (ytvotmat) 
r<2 a-ep.vdtp.aTi. bo^av el be p.r], rov piyiorov rdpa\ov iv 
raiy \jrvxais avrrj r) vitevavrt6rrr\s Ttapao-Kev&o-et. oOev 8J) 
I0 Kara ras i£ ap\r}s ivanokrjyfreis rS>v cnxrrpoqb&v rovr<av 
iv Tf) tov K6o-px>v yeveo-ei bet bo£&£eiv ko! tt)v avdyK-qv 
ravrqv Kal irepiobov avvreXfla-dat, | 

78 Kal prfv Kal (to) tt\v virep to>v KvpiaiTdroiv alrtav i£aKpt- 
/3£i<rai <f>v<riokoy(as (pyov tTvai 8el vop,l£eiv, Kal to p.aK&pu>v 

12 eiTj] n Usener 76 3 aXX^Xoir Meibom : ^XXijXout F • dXX^a'f 
libr. cett. 5 Toir(nfV) Schneider: tovi libn : seclusit Usener 6 «'Xo- 
pt'vovs] iitnpdvovt Schneider atrial*] tfrnvrafftai' suspicatusest Usener 
8 (icri! tt)v) supplevit Usener 1 1 9t<irafaer<w GHZ : duird$orros 

BFPQCo 77 2 -iXX' h PK^Co: i\\h ,V B: aXX" FGHP'Z 

4 av irvp &ftn (dpa H) Hvra P'GHZ : du irupa paovm P 1 Q : Xvjru/la m<> 
o»<Ta B 1 : Xwrvpit Sfia Svra B* . aS 7rup" 3wt<« F : av rrvpbt &nu.n Svra 
M. Casaubon : at irvpits avanunrn Usener <rvv*m ptippevav\ a-vi-t- 
arpanfiivov Usener 6 <p*po(uva\ fapoptvov Usener 7 Iw» Usener: 
libri p. 6" virtvnvriat . . .&ifrti] ptdiv inrfvamav . . . <W£ff Meibom 
(■y*Va>»rrcu) supplevit GaSSendl 9 tn/rrj f) H PQCo ; avTtjV r) B : avrrj 



peculiar feelings and received their peculiar impressions, natural 
and so each in their own way emitted air formed into "used'by 
shape by each of these feelings and impressions, according feelings and 
to the differences made in the different nations by the places lm P ression! '. 

76 of their abode as well. And then later on by common con- and was 

sent in each nationality special names were deliberately d eveioped" y 

given in order to make their meanings less ambiguous to deliberately 

one another and more briefly demonstrated. And some- New names 

times those who were acquainted with them brought in were , lntr °" , 
... , ,. , , , r , duced in bolli 

things hitherto unknown and introduced sounds for them, lhese ways 

on some occasions being naturally constrained to utter 
them, and on others choosing them by reasoning in accord- 
ance with the prevailing mode of formation, and thus 
making their meaning clear. 

Furthermore, the motions of the heavenly bodies and x Ct/tsttal 
their turnings and eclipses and risings and settings, and kin- The'r 
dred phenomena to these, must not be thought to be due to causes 
any being who controls and ordains or has ordained them nonsof the" 

77 and at the same time enjoys perfect bliss together with im- heavenly 
mortality (for trouble and care and anger and kindness are no t controlled 
not consistent with a life of blessedness, but these things by an y lm - 

... , . r , . mortal blessed 

come to pass where there is weakness and iear and depen- being, 
dence on neighbours). Nor again must we believe that (6) nor are 
they, which are but fire agglomerated in a mass, possess ^ngj'^hem- 
blessedness, and voluntarily take upon themselves these selves 
movements. But we must preserve their full majestic We must not 
significance in all expressions which we apply to such Jh«Je ways 
conceptions, in order that there may not arise out of them derogate from 
opinions contrary to this notion of majesty. Otherwise f C t ™ g ods 
this very contradiction will cause the greatest disturbance 
in men's souls. Therefore we must believe that it is due 
to the original inclusion of matter in such agglomerations 
during the birth-process of the world that this law of 

78 regular succession is also brought about. 

Furthermore, we must believe that to discover accurately 2 lhe know- 
the cause of the most essential facts is the function of the na tu re f the 
science of nature, and that blessedness for us in the know- heavenly 

FGZ IO Kara Meibom : mi llbn I I ytvttrei] ovaTatrti FGZ 

78 I (to) supplevit Usener 

»«« D 



iv Tfj Tsepl p-eredpcov yv<icrti IvraSda ncmuHtlvai. kolL iv t$ 
rives <p£<reis ai Beutpoip^vai Kara to pericopa ravrt, koX 
6 Sera crvyyevT) -npbs tt)v els tovto &Kplfieiav tri re ov To 
■nXeovax&s iv rols toiovtois etvai Kal t& ivbex^P^vov Kal 
AXAajf vcos %X eiv > aXA' hnt\S>s etvai iv a<pdiprtf nal 
jxaKapiq tpvaei r&v di&Kpimv vTrof}aA\6vT<i>v r/ T&paypv p.r)Qh>' 

79 koI tovto KaraAafieTv rij biavoiq lo-riv &tt\.&s etvai. | to b' 
iv Tjj lo-TopCq. TT€TTTa>Kds ttjs bvcreaiS kou avaroXfjs Kal Tpoirijs 
xai inAetyeuis Kal 8ira crvyyevr} tovtols p.r]0ev In rtpbs to 
paKupiov rijs yva>o-ea>s o-vvreivetv, dAA' optoitos rovs tpdfiovs 

5 ^X ftv T0VS rafira KariooYras, rives 5* al (pvaeis ayvoovvras 
Kal rives ai Kvpidirarai alriai, Kal el llti trpoa-pbeia-av TavTa' 
Ta\a he koX irkeiovs, orav To 8&p.fios in rrjs tovtcov irpoo-Kara- 
vorjtreuiS pti] bvirqrai ri]v \v<tu> \apj3avtiv Kal rtjv rrepl tS>v 
Kvpta>T&Toov oiKovoplav. bib brj k&v TtXeiovs airias evpia Kovpev 
io rpoirwv Kal bvcreuiv Kal avaroA&v Kal itAetyeaiv Kal r<Zv 
ToiovroTpoTToiv, axrnep Kal iv rots Kara p.4pos yivoplvois 

80 rjv, | ov Set vop.iCeiv Triv irrep tovtuv yjpeiav aKpifieiav jxt/ 
uTreiXrjtpevai, So-t] rrpbs rb ardpaxov koX paKapiov rjp.S>v 
crwreivet. &<rre irapaOe<opovvras irocrax&s nap' ijp-iv to 
Spoiov yiverai, alTioAoyqriov virep re rwv p,ere<&pu>v Kal 

5 iravrds rov abrjAov, KaTa<ppovovvras Ta>v ovre {rb) pova\ws 
%X ov V yw6p.evov yvu>pi£6vra>v ovre to irkeovax&s ovpi.(3divov 
(irrl tg>v) tt)v iK tQ>v airo<rrqp.arti>v (pavTaaiav irapabihovTuv, 
in Te ayvoovvTtov xal iv iroiois ovk fariv arapaKTijaai. 
av ovv ol<ap.eda Kal wbi ttcos ivbex6p.evov airb yiveo-dai Kal 
io l<p' otois 6p.oi(t>s iarlv arapaKTrja-ai, avrb to Sti TiAeovax&s 
yiverai yvi»piCovres, &o-nep ko\v 5ti a>bl ira>s yiverai elb£>Liev, 

3 t v t;J . . . yvaoti seclusit Usener ivravda (jt) suspicatus 
est Usener 4 rives Zf : rtvat Hbri 5 crvyytvrj] avvreit/ti 

Usener . (tovtois awTtlntJ supplevit Kochalsky 6 tv&*x°~ 

ntvov Schneider: ivSe\ofitva> B: ivitxoH-'"^ FHPQCo: «it^o- 
ptvat GZ 79 4 rrjr yvaxrtmt] rat yvoiirtit Usener 5 Kan- 

HdtTas] KarfiS6ras Usener 8 km] Kara Gassendi 9 k&v 

Usener : xai hbri tiipia-Ktaptv Usener : tvpivtopxy hbn 10 raw 
TotovroTpoiratv Meibom : raw rmovrav rpiitrnv (rponSiv FGHP'Z) 
Hbri 12 ?x Usener : % H : tj libr. cett. 80 5 oflrt (xi) 

Gassendi : oiBi hbri (oiSiv Co) 7 (iiri rS>v) supplevit Bignone : 
rlfv (t') Usener irupabib6vT*>v\ irapMyroti Usener 8 iv] «rJ 
coniecit Schneider 9 k<u ante etf> o'ou seclusit Usener 10 i<f> 
oToir FP'Z : iv iroiots P^Co itrrlv GH : om. libr. cett 


ledge of celestial phenomena lies in this and in the bodies, &c, 
understanding of the nature of the existences seen in these iJ^rtuTfor* 
celestial phenomena, and of all else that is akin to the ourhappinets, 
exact knowledge requisite for our happiness ; in knowing 
too that what occurs in several ways or is capable of being 
otherwise has no place here, but that nothing which 
suggests doubt or alarm can be included at all in that 
which is naturally immortal and blessed. Now this we but not the 

79 can ascertain by our mind is absolutely the case. But {heTeuukd^ 
what falls within the investigation of risings and settings causes of 
and turnings and eclipses, and all'that is akin to this, is no theirworkin 8- 
longer of any value for the happiness which knowledge 

brings, but persons who have perceived all this, but yet do 

not know what are the natures of these things and what 

are the essential causes, are still m fear, just as if they did 

not know these things at all : indeed, their fear may be 

even greater, since the wonder which arises out of the 

observation of these things cannot discover any solution 

or realize the regulation of the essentials. And for this We must 

very reason, even if we discover several causes for turnings C o n tenteven 

and settings and risings and eclipses and the like, as has if we find 

80 been the case already in our investigation of detail, we ^' the' same*" 
must not suppose that our inquiry into these things has phenomenon, 
not reached sufficient accuracy to contribute to our peace 

of mind and happiness So we must carefully consider in We must 
how many ways a similar phenomenon is produced on Ie^| I a i bout 
earth, when we reason about the causes of celestial pheno- phenomena 
mena and all that is imperceptible to the senses ; and we ^j^"'^ 8 * 
must despise those persons who do not recognize either earth, and not 
what exists or comes into being in one way only, or that l^e'find*' 1 ' 
which may occur in several ways in the case of things several causes 
which can only be seen by us from a distance, and further at work 
are not aware under what conditions it is impossible to 
have peace of mind. If, therefore, we think that a pheno- 
menon probably occurs in some such particular way, and 
that in circumstances under which it is equally possible for 
us to be at peace, when we realize that it may occur in 
several ways, we shall be just as little disturbed as if we 
know that it occurs in some such particular way. 

d 2 


gi 'irapaicrfitrontv. \ iul fte rovrots Skaxs Airacrur cKeu/o Set 
Karavotiv, ori rapaxos 6 mpidraros rats &v0p&irivai9 yfrvxais 
yCverai iv ry Tavra paK&pii. re bo£a£(w Kal a<f>0apra, koI 
VJtfvavrCas %X flv tovtoh j3ov\rj(rtts &p.a Kal -npdfcis Kal 
5 cdrCas, Kal iv r<j> aldviov ri beivbv del itpovhonav fi vTTOTtreCfur 
Kara rovs ptvdovs etre Kal avrriv rrfv avaicrdrjaCav r^v iv 
r<f TtQv&vai (pofiovjjAvovs &<nrtp ov<rav Kar airovs, Kal iv 
f«) Jrffats ravra i:6.a-x*n> dXX' dXdy<[> yi rivt wa/Jaardcret, 
80 ei> p.)] 6p[£ovras rb btivbv tt)v la-qv i) Kal i-ntTerap.lvriv 
8s rapaxv v kappivetv <&s ef ko.1 ib6£a£ov ravra- | fj 8e arapa£La 
rb rovrcav ti&vtgov airo\(\v<r0ai Kal crwtxv p.vrjpriv tx €iv T *> lr 
Skcov /cat Kvpmr6.ra>v. 

"OQiV rois irdOeo-i •jrpo<ref<:re'oi» rois irapoOa-i Kal rats 
S aZo-0?Jcrecri, Kara p.ev rb KOivbv rats KotvaTs, Kara bi ra 
Ibtov rats ibiais, Kal irda-rj rfj Trapov'trr) icad' f-Kaorov rG>v 
KpirrjpCiDV ivapyeCa. av yap tovtols Trpocre^cojxei', to 56ev 
6 rdpaxos koI 6 <poJ3os iyCvero i£airio\oyria-optv 6p6&s Kal 
airoXvcropev, visip re ^erecopcov alrtokoyovvres Kal rG>v Xom&v 
to r&v del TrapepTrnrrovTcov, 6Va <po/3ei rovs Xonroiis ia^drojs. 

Tavrd <roi, 2> 'Hpobore, Itrrt KecpaXawofi^crTara vitip rrjy 
83 ra>v 8k<av fpvaeois, ] ware av yivowro ovros 6- 
Xoyos bvvarbs KaTaaxeOi)(vaC) ptr aKpifietas' olpat, iav 
pi) Kal Txpbs &Travra (3ab[crri ris twv Kara pipos aKpij3ctip&TU)v, 
ao~6p(3kr]rov airbv irpos rois Xomovs av0p<oTtovs abporrira 
5 X»/\^eo"#ai. Kal yap Kal KaOapa dtp' eavrov 7rot?jcret iraXXd 
r&v Kara pepos i£aKpij3ovp.eva>v Kara rriv 8Xriv -rrpayparelav, Kal avrii ravra iv p-vvpfl riQip.eva (rvvex&s fiorjdrjo-ti. 
rotavra ydp iartv, ware Kal rovs (icat ra) Kara ae'pos fjbr) 

81 I oAa>r BHPCo • oXoir FQ : om. GZ 2 rapa^or (ntv) 

SUSpicatUS est Usener 3 Tavra] raura Muehll do£d£ut> 

(ttvai) Usener 4 tovtois libr. plerique : Tavroi F : roirip Usener 
5 atl Usener: koi libn : 5 Muehll 6 ctrt nal alrrjv Casaubon : 

elj-f Kara raCnjv llbri 7 kut Casaubon . Kal llbn 8 a\\' dXoya> 
BGHP": dXXo Xdyu FP'Q lo £>: scnpsi : t5 BGZ , to 

FHPQCo: t^ Usener ti not ib~6£a(av] e'tKaia>s bo£a£ovTi Usener 
8a 2 tA] r^ Usener 4 rraBtai Bonnet: naai llbri II fortasse 
(tA) rt(paXaia>8tOTaTa 83 I ftp yevoiro] iiv ytvrjrai Usener 

ovros d Xdyor bvvarut hbr. plerique : cWaT^r outoj o Xdyor F 
2 <aracrx«07(i'!») Bockemuller : Kara(r\t6ti H : KaTco-\(6r) libr. cett. : 
iraraerYWeir Gassendl 4 da-ipfi\riTov BHPQ : aavyKpiTov FGZ 
5 KaOapa Gassendl ; naOapav libn 6 f£aKpi&oupivav Gassendl ; 



81 And besides all these matters in general we must grasp 3- Tlu cautts 
this point, that the principal disturbance in the minds of &tt™d!"f 
men arises because they think that these celestial bodies causes cf 
are blessed and immortal, and yet have wills and actions m"^^ 
and motives inconsistent with these attributes ; and because (a) the belief 
they are always expecting or imagining some everlasting he a l v ^ y 
misery, such as is depicted in legends, or even fear the bodies are 
loss of feeling in death as though it would concern them ^""he fear 
themselves ; and, again, because they are brought to this of eternal 
pass not by reasoned opinion, but rather by some irrational or of aniihiia- 
presentiment, and therefore, as they do not know the limits Hon after 
of pain, they suffer a disturbance equally great or even more death> 
extensive than if they had reached this belief by opinion. 
8a But peace of mind is being delivered from all this, and Peace of mind 
having a constant memory of the general and most essential ^m these 
principles. fears 

Wherefore we must pay attention to internal feelings 4 7 ™ sl "' 
and to external sensations in general and in particular, jo be quit of 
according as the subject is general or particular, and to our fears > we 
every immediate intuition in accordance with each of the SteDd'to'he 
standards of judgement. For if we pay attention to these, direcievi- 
we shall rightly trace the causes whence arose our mental feelings and 
disturbance and fear, and, by learning the true causes of se d sal f '°^ s ' 
celestial phenomena and all other occurrences that come other criteria 
to pass from time to time, we shall free ourselves from all of judgement, 
which produces the utmost fear in other men. 

Here, Herodotus, is my treatise on the chief points Conclusion. 
83 concerning the nature of the general principles, abridged wrt'nje of"" 5 ' 
so that my account would be easy to grasp with accuracy, value boih to 
I think that, even if one were unable to proceed to all the s^den^and' 1 

detailed particulars of the system, he would from this 10 the more 
obtain an unrivalled strength compared with other men. f*q*,™ r 
For indeed he will clear up for himself many of the 
detailed points by reference to our general system, and 
these very principles, if he stores them in his mind, will 
constantly aid him. For such is their character that even 
those who are at present engaged in working out the 

€^aKpi^ovfuvos BFHPQCo : fJaKpijSov/w'voir GZ 8 («ai ra) sup- 
plevit Usener • ra prius inseruerat Meibom 



t£aKpLf3ovvras luavus' tj teal reKtuos, els ras roiavras &va- 
i Xvovras iiri/3oX&s -rds wXtforas r&v irepioteiSv iitkp ttjs Ukrjt 
<pvo-eu>s iroieia-dar Bvoi be fxr) TravreK&s avrS>v r&v ivoreKov- 
ixivatv, iic tovtcov elvlv ot itarh. rbv &vcv <pG6yya>v rpowov rr\v 
&p.a vofaari irepiohov r&v Kvpi<or6.r<ov irpbs yaK-r\vuTfiAv 

II Sa-oi H : ocra libr. cett. is tlaiv ot senpsi : tl<r\v tj libit: 

lKavi)V Uscner : oat) &h V Bignone aim <f>36yyav] av*irtf>6oyyov 



details to a considerable degree, or even completely, will 
be able to carry out the greater part of their investigations 
into the* nature of the whole by conducting their analysis 
in reference to such a survey as this. And as for all 
who are not fully among those on the way to being 
perfected, some of them can from this summary obtain 
a hasty view of the most important matters without oral 
instruction so as to secure peace of mind. 



84 "HveyKe ptoi Kkeatv einaTokyv napa (rov, ei> 17 (jjikoippovov- 
p.evos re wept rj^as fiteWAeis d££a>f rjjs ypLerepas irepl creavrbv 
cnrovbr\t, kclI ovk a-Kiddvias iwetpQ p.vrjp.ovev'eiv t&v eh 
piaK&piov fSlov (rvVTtivovTcov biakoyi<rp.5>v, eSe'ou re <reavr(a 

5 7repl tS>v iMTfwpcov <jvvto\iov Kal evirepiypatyov btakoyicp-bv 
anocTTtikai, Xva pqbicos p.vr)p.ov€Vj\v to. yap iv aAAoif f) 
yeypaptp.e'va hv<Tp,vi)p.6vevTa elvai, koltol, <1>s <!<pi]s, crvvex/os 
avra /3a<rrd£ety. //jueiV 8e rySe'cos re (rov ttjv berjo-w d7re5e£d- 

85 p,eda Kal iknCa-LV ^Setaiy o-vveo-\e'drip.ev. \ ypaxfravres ovv ra 
Aotira -navra ffvvrekoup.ev &nep j;£t£o eras irokkdis Kal aXXoty 
i<r6p.eva x/j(/erifxa ra bia\oylap.aTa radra, Kal p.dkicrTa roiy 
reaxrri <pv(Tio\oyias yvqaLov yevop-ivois Kal reus eh d.(r\ok(as 

£ fiaOvripai tG>v 2yKVKkCa>v rivbt Ip-ireTrkeyntvois. koXws br/ 
avra biA\af3e, Kal 81a eyoov o£e'a>s avra -nepiobeve 
fj.(Ta t&v Xonrwv a>v er rfj puKpd, npbs 'Hpoboroi' 

Y\pS>Tov piev ovv /xi/ akko ri re"\os €K Ttjs wept p-eredpuiv 
10 -yjxocecos efre Kara <rvva<f>y]v Aeyo/j.eViov etre avroreAais vop.i£etv 
elvai 1) TTfp arapaSiav Kal ttCotu' fitfiaLoi', Kaddirep Kal em 

86 t&v koLir&v. | f«jre rb abvvaTov Kal TTapafiidCtcrdat pu'ire 
dfwtav Kara ixavra Tip) Oeoopiav eyeiv i] rots irepi (Siutv koyois 
rj rots Kara ryv t&v ukkuv (pv<riKa>i> TTpo^kr]p.dTa>v Kddapcrtv, 
otov on to Ttav crw/xara Kal dzwpijff (pvais early 7) on arop.a 

5 (ra) o-roi^ela, Kai Trdj'ra rd rotaura 81) Sera p.ova\T]v e^et 

£4 7 Kat'rot] (tdfiiJi'aTnc Cronert 8 /Sncrrdfeis Casatlbon : j9acrTu- 
feu> libn : fi ifTTafavTi Usener 85 2 Xoittii wdrrn] XFiVon-n con- 

lecit Usener 9 tic] h'icos Kochalsky 10 post voplfciv (flfl) 

supplevit Gassendi 86 1 k<u ante 7rapafiidCt<r0ai om FH'P J Z: 

ante /i^r» transposuit Kochalsky : unl {inpaKTOv) Bignone 
4 trapaTa Usener : crmpa libri 5 (ra) adieat Schneider 

TiHavra iq 5<ra Bignone : rotavra t/ Saa libn : tokjOtq Baa Schneider 



84 Ct.eok brought me a letter from you in which you con- introduction. 
tinue to express a kindly feeling towards me, which. .is J^'S" 

a just return for my interest in you, and you attempt with 
some success to recall the arguments which lead to a life 
of blessedness. You ask me to send you a brief argument 
about the phenomena of the sky in a short sketch, that 
you may easily recall it to mind. For you say that 
what I have written in my other works is hard to remem- 
ber, even though, as you state, you constantly have them 
in your hands I was glad to receive your request and 
felt constrained to answer it by pleasant expectations for 

85 the future. Therefore, as I have finished all my other Epicui us' 
writings I now intend to accomplish your request, feeling ^"""J " )se 
that these arguments will be of value to many other persons fulness of the 
as well, and especially to those who have but recently ,ettcr - 
tasted the genuine inquiry into nature, and also to those 

_ who are involved too deeply in the business of some 
regular occupation. Therefore lay good hold on it, keep 
it in mind, and go through it all keenly, together with the 
rest which 1 sent in the small epitome to Herodotus. 

First of all then we must not suppose that any other Purpose of 
object is to be gained from the knowledge of the pheno- IjJe'quirt'i^fe 
mena of the sky, whether they are dealt with in connexion 
with other doctrines or independently, than peace of mind 
and a sure confidence, just as in all other branches of 

86 study. We must not try to force an impossible explana- i ts principles 
tion, nor employ a method of inquiry like our reasoning investigation 

. . 1 , r 1 • f ■ 1 1 °f heavenly 

either about the modes of life or with respect to the phenomena 

solution of other physical problems : witness such pro- differs from 

... . • _ _ . , . r , that of ethics 

positions as that 'the universe consists of bodies and the or physics, 

intangible', or that 'the elements are indivisible', and all 


tois <f>atvontvois ovfmputvCav Bittp iitl rwv lurft&pwv oi\ 
xm&pXti, aWa ravri ye irkcovaxiiv (x* 1 Kal tt}s ytviatw 
alrCav Kal rrjs oixrCas rais cd<r&q<re<ri avn<ptt)Vov Karqyopiav. 
ov yap /caret i^uapMra Keva Kal vonoOecrCas <f>vo-u>\oyryr4ov, 

87 AAA' is tcl (patvojAtva iKnakftrai' | ov yap 7/8rj aXoyCas Kal 
k(vt}s bo^rjs o (3los r)p.<Zv xpfCav, iXka tov a0opv(3a>s 
fjpxxi £ijv. irdvra pkv oZv yCverai dcreCarois Karh tt6lvt<ov 
(tS>v) Kara" irkfovaxov rpoTtov iKKaOaipop^ivcuv o-vp,<f><iv<as 

5 Toir (paivop^vois, orav tis to iriOavokoyovfKvov -irtiip avr&v 
btoirroos KaTakCirt}' 8rav 6V ns to &Tro\(irr), to 8' iKfidky 
SfioCcos o~vn<p<t>vov Sv rip <f>awopAv<j>, bfj\ov Sri Kal <k iraiTos 
eKTrCirrti <pv<rio\oyrjp.aTOs, €7ri 8e tov pivdov Karappti- <rr\p.iia 
8' i-nl tS>v iv rots jLiereiopow ovvTekovp.4va>v <f>tptiv tS>v ■nap' 
10 r)p.iv Tiva <pawopAvwv, a dccopeirai fj virdpxei, Kal ov ra 
iv fxerec&pois cpaivopieva- ravra yap ivbex^rai ir\eovax<*s 

88 yevio-Bai. | to p.ivroi <pdvrao-pM iKaorov -rr^prfiov Kal iitl 
ra a-vvaTTTOiMeva tovt<j> biaiperiov h ovk ivrip-aprvpeiTai Toiy 
■nap' fip.iv yivoptvois nXeovax&s o-vvrekeicrOai. 

KoV/xos io-rl -nepio\ri tis ovpavov, harpa re icai yrjv Kal 
5 isivra, ra <paivop.eva Trepiexovo-a, ov \vop,h?ov -ndvra to iv 
atrip o~vyxvo~tv A^eTat, dworo/xijv Uxovo-a airb tov iireipov 
(cot KaraXriyova-a iv Trepan r) apatw rj TWKvip Kal rj iv 
ittpiayop.{v(p 77 iv aracriv %xovri KC " oTpoyyvkrjv rj TpCytuvov 
rj otav brj Trore (c^ovcra) irepiypa(prjv. TTavrax&s yap ivbe- 
10 x fTal ' T & v Y&P 4>aivop.fva)v ovbev avrifxaprvpfi {iv) r£>be 

89 Ty, iv <J \r}yov ovk H<tti KaTa\aj3flv. | on 8e Kal 
toiovtoi xoVjaoi tlo-lv &Treipoi to Trkfjdos, Ioti KaraXafifZv, 
Kal on Kal 6 toiovtos bvvarai Koap.os yCveaOat Kal iv Koo-p.^ 

7 im-upx" Gassendi : \mapx flv I'bn 87 I fj&r) akoyias FHP*Z : 
ZdiaXoyi'ar BP'QCo unde /dioXoyi'oc Stephanus 3 KOTa] »cai 

Usener: om. Cronert 7ravr<u>< (rail/) Bignone wuv ray HP'Q: 
navrmv libr. cett. 9 d' inl Usener : bi ti BP'QCo : 8e riva FH P"Z : 
d( TriOavh BigTione <f>iptiv] (fxpti Kuhn 10 5 Woltjer : 

}) hbri oi] ovtus F unde oi^ is Cronert 88 1 tKatrrov] 

tKasTzov coniecit Usener «Vi] in Usener 5 oB Xvopivov . . . 
Ararat hue transtuli, post vxkvw koi habent hbri, ut additamen- 
tum seclusit Usener 7 koi KaroXtfyovaa . . . nvKvy ut addita- 
mentum seclusit Usener ante fj ii> irtptayofif'vtp addunt *ai 

Xriyovaav hbri (<cnl Xijyotxra Gassendi^ scilicet e Kai KaTakjiyoxxra 

repetitum : de his tnbus versibus vid. corumentarium nostrum 
8 iv irratTiv Gassendi : iwrratriv hbri 9 (t^ovo-a) addidi nav- 
Tax«s] rravraxov H*Q 10 (&>) T»d« Usener - T&bt hbri (r6bt F) 



such statements in circumstances where there is only one 
explanation which harmonizes with phenomena. For this for more than 
is not so with the things above us : they admit of more pIZt™*™* 
than one cause of coming into being and more than one same effect, 
account of their nature which harmonizes with our sen- 
sations. For we must not conduct scientific investigation 
by means of empty assumptions and arbitrary principles, 

87 but follow the lead of phenomena : for our life has not now 
any place for irrational belief and groundless imaginings, 

but we must live free from trouble. Now all goes on Such plurality 

without disturbance as far as regards each of those things °f 

... , ... , . . nol a disturb- 

which may be explained in several ways so as to harmonize mg element, 

with what we perceive, when one admits, as we are bound ^onot 

to do, probable theories about them. But when one accepts trary deci- 

one theory and rejects another, which harmonizes just as ,lon5 

well with the phenomenon, it is obvious that he altogether 

leaves the path of scientific inquiry and has recourse to 

myth. Now we can obtain indications of what happens Tilings on 

above from some of the phenomena on earth : for we can ? a ^ h mi J 

11 . , , help us to 

observe how they come to pass, though we cannot observe explain 
the phenomena in the sky : for they may be produced in phenomena 

88 several ways. Yet we must never desert the appearance 
of each of these phenomena, and further, as regards what 
is associated with it, must distinguish those things whose 
production in several ways is not contradicted by pheno- 
mena on earth, 

A world is a circumscribed portion of sky, containing 1 Worlds 
heavenly bodies and an earth and all the heavenly pheno- g 3 ^ n r j t ( j . n lt j f 
mena, whose dissolution will cause all within it to fall into boundary and 
confusion ; it is a piece cut off from the infinite and ends sha P e - 
in a boundary either rare or dense, either revolving or 
stationary : its outline may be spherical or three-cornered, 
or any kind of shape. For all such conditions are possible, 
seeing that no phenomenon is evidence against this in our 
world, in which it is not possible to perceive an ending. 

89 And that such worlds are infinite in number we can be Worlds 

sure, and also that such a world may come into being both ^j^. 1 " 

inside another world and in an mterworld, by which we pu'ce of 


Kal (tv) fitraKoa-fxlff, & kiyoy.ev p*ra£v k6<t^v btAarqpM, iv 
5 itokoKivtp roir<f) Kal ovk iv* clkiKpivei ko.1 Ktvtp, 
KaO&itep rivks (paalv, iirtrqbefov riv£>v o-ttfpp.&.Tu)v pvtvraiV 
luf? ivbs jcJtr/ioti rj p*raKOo-p,(ov t) Kal dnb irkeiovcav Kara 
fiiKpdv irpoa-dia-fis re Kal btapOpdaets Kal pL(Tao~T&o-(is noiovv- 
To>v iir' &\\ov tottov, iav oIjtcd tvxji, Kal iirapbevcrtis 2k t<Zv 
10 t\6vr<av iirtTTjbeCcoi ions Te\eui<r(a>s Kal biapiovrjs i<p oaov 
to vi:o$\r\6ivTa Oefiikia r>)v Trpoo-bo\r]V Swarat iroitL<r0ai. | 
•90 ov yap hei p.6vov yev£<r6ai ovbe hivov iv $ IvSe'xerai 
K6o-p,ov ytvecrOat K«*a> Kara to bo£a£6p.evov l£ avdyKijs, 
av£eo~0a( re, ?<« hv hripip irpoo-Kpovo-rf, KaOdrrep tu>v <$>V(TIkG>V (prjcrC Tts. toCto yap p.a\6p.tvov icrri rots <f>atvo- 
5 p.4vois. 

"H\i6s Tt Kal aeXijvi] Kal ra \onrb. darpa {pi) ko6' iavra. 
ytvopLtva vcrrtpov ip.TTfpte\.api.j3dveTo vtto tov Kocrpxjv, a\\' 
tvBvs SteirXdrTero Kal av£rjo-iv ikdpfiavfv Kara Trpoa-KpCtrets 
Kal bivrjo-eis A.e7rro/i€pa>i> twuov (piatoiv, yrot TTvevp-aTiKtibv 
10 jj TTvpofih&v rj to owap-cpdrepov ko.1 yap ravra ovroa t) 
9 1 aia-Orja-is vnofii\X.€t. \ to hk plytdos rjkCov re (xat o-fXfjirqs) 
Kal tQ)V Xoittcov dcrrputv Kara p.\v to irpds f/pS-s Trj\iKOvr<ii> 
io-TLv tjXCkov <paCveraf Kara 8£ to Kad' avrb ijtoi jitifav 
tov bpmpuivov i) p.iKpS> iharrov ij tt]Xikovtov. ovtoj yap Kal 
5 ra Trap' rjp!iv irvpa l£ di7oaTrjp.aTOs 6euipovp.tva Kara, rrjv 
alo-d-qcnv OempeiTai. Kal nav bk «is tovto to p.4pos ivo-Ti)p/x 
pq,b(a>s bia\v6rja-€Tai, idv Tts rots ivapyrjpuxo-i irpoo-i^rj, oirep 
93 iv Tols wept (pvo-foas j3t/3Afoiy bc(Kwp.fv- \ ai'aToKas Kal bijo-en 
T)\Cov Kal o-fXyvrfs Kal tu>v kont&v darputv Kal Kara ava\jnv 

89 4 Kai ((V) scnpsi : Kal hbn : kcLv coniecit Usener 5 tlXucpivtt 
koI] Kat tikiKpivti Zeller 6 rives Casaubon : ru>a librj 7 ff Kai 
FHP'Z: i) BP'QCo 10 8ia/tiov^t] biafxovq* Usener t<j> 5<rov 

FP*: tQuvov B . ('<p' t, H(P l )QCo 90 I itvov P'QCo : teivov 

HP 1 : finvbv BFZ 6 (oi) adiecit Aldobrandinus 91 1 

<T€\T)vr)s) adiecit Usener 2 piv to Schneider : pivTai libn 

3 Ka0' avro Usener Kad' airr&v P l : Kaff avrfjv Q • Kar avrA FH'P'Z : 
kot' airiiy BH* 4 post tijXikovtov libn ovx apa habent, quod ut 
glossema seclusi . emendaverunt ru^* Lachunann, rvyxdvti Usener 
8 j9«i8Xioir] |3v/3Xi'<h. Usener 9a 2 post avai^iv Usener (t») adiecit 


90 7 post tov K6o-fiov verba rai So-a yt 8^ t&C" habent HPQ, 8 post 
tkdpfitwtv codd. eidem d/xoi'oir it Kai y!} ten! toarm : eadem verba 


6 1 

mean a space between worlds ; it will be in a place with 
much void, and not in a large empty space quite void, as 
some say : this occurs when seeds of the right kind have Manner of 
rushed in from a single world or interworld, or from formatlon 
several : little by little they make junctions and articula- 
tions, and cause changes of position to another place, as 
it may happen, and produce irrigations of the appropriate and endu- 
matter until the period of completion and stability, which rance * 
lasts as long as the underlying foundations are capable of 

90 receiving additions. For it is not merely necessary for False idea of 
a gathering of atoms to take place, nor indeed for a whirl de^r^tion'^ 
and nothing more to be set in motion, as is supposed, by worlds, 
necessity, in an empty space in which it is possible for 

a world to come into being, nor can the world go on 
increasing until it collides with another world, as one of 
the so-called physical philosophers says. For this is a 
contradiction of phenomena. 

Sun and moon and the other stars were not created by II The 
themselves and subsequently taken in by the world, but fadt^ 
were fashioned in it from the first and gradually grew in (a) Creation, 
size by the aggregations and whirlings of bodies of minute ln the worId 

91 parts, either windy or fieiy or both, for this is what our tfon C °" St ' tU " 
sensation suggests. The size of sun (and moon) and the ( c ) size • 
other stars is for us what it appears to be ; and in reality nearly what 
it is either (slightly) greater than what we see or slightly 

less or the same size : for so too fires on earth when 
looked at from a distance seem to the senses. And every 
objection at this point will easily be dissipated, if we pay 
attention to the clear vision, as I show in my books about 
93 nature. The risings and settings of the sun, moon, and (.rf) Their 
other heavenly bodies may be due to kindling and extinc- " e s t ' t "n g and 


alias alii disponunt codices 

koI Saa . . . cra>f«t in textu retinuit Muehll <rw{u] fortasse 

<rufn Usener 

91 3 P°St (paivfTai legltur tovto xai i» rjj ia Htpi <f>va(as' " ft yap ", 

av rnv 

d»I<r(, "to ptytSos 8m to biaarr)pa d7rf/3«$Xq«», jroXXijj paWov av t^v 
Xpoav ". nXX ov yap touts) xTvpp.(Tp6rrcpoy Stdorrjpa oiSfv t<rri 

airtBi^fjKet Usener : nTro/jt^AtjMi libri dXX' <ii Usener : aXXo 
(itXXo) B) libri, Muehll, qui verba XWo yip . . oidtv tori m 
textu retinuit avp,jUTpirtpov ljbn plerique : a-vfijitrpwripov 
B l Z : trvpittrpovfitvnv Lachmann - 

62 II. npos nr©OKAEA 

yeviadai bvvatrdat Kal Karh crfiitTiv, rounrrqs ovo-yjs irepi- 
trriurtuit nal nad' tKaripovs rovs rovovs &o~re ret irpoeip7)ph>a 
5 airorekeio-dat' ovbiv yap ru>v tpaivop.4vcDv avTi+tapTvpeZ. (teal) 
tear Ik<p&v*iov re imep yrjs Kal ir&ktv iTrvrrpoo~&irr\o~iv to 
Ttpo(ipr\p.ivov bvvair hv arwrekelo-Oav ovbi y&p ri tS>v (paivo- 
p.4vu>v avTipaprvpei. re£s re Ktwqaets avr&v ovk abtivarov 
p&v ylve<r6ai Karat, Tr/v rov Skov oipavov bivr]v, rf rovrov piv 
io ardatv, avr5>v be blvr\v Kara ttjj> l£ dp\rjs & r ff ytv4m 

93 row kJct/uou av6.yKr\v anoytvvr]8et<rav eV avarokfi- j « * * * * 
r&rfl Qtppjacrla Kara Ttva iirivip-qa-iv rov Truphs &fl inl rovs 
e£ijs roVous l6vrot. rpo-nas fjkCov Kal o-ekrjirqs ivb^erai 
pev yCvecrOai Kara X.6£coaiv oipavov otfrco rots \p6vois kcitjj- 

5 vayKaa-fitvov ojuofcos be Kal Kara, aipos avri£uo-iv r) Kal 
ikrjs &el inirqbeias i^op.4v<os iptrtirpapivrjs, rrjs 8' e'KAenroiwrr/y 
»/ Kal l£ ipxfjs rotavrqv bCvrjv Kareikr]0rjvai rots &crrpots 
Tovrois, &<r0' otov tiv tkiKa Ktvelo-dai. rrdvra yap rci 
roiavra Kal ra rovroit o~vyyevfj ovOevl r&v ivapryqpArmv 
io buKpcavei, edv ris iirl rGsv roiovrutv pep&v i%6pi€vos- T °v 
bvvarov els rb <rvp<pu>vov rots cpatvopivois tKacrrov rov"ra>v 
bvvrjrat dvayeiv, p.r\ <po/3ovpevos ras ivbpaTiobt&beiS acrrpo- 
k6y<nv rexvirdas. | 

94 Kevcocrets re creA.Jji'fjs #cai ir&kiv TrA.»;pco(rets Kal KarcL 
crrpo<priv rov a<iparos rovrov bvvawr ylveo-Qai Kal Kara 
o-Xjipario-piovs aipos 6pol<as, In re Kal Kara Trpoaderqo-ets 
Kal Kara Tt&vras rpo-novs, Kaff 1 otis kol ra nap' fjp.iv <paiv6- 

5 p.eva (KKakeirai els ras rovrov rov etbovs anobotreis, iav 
prf) ris rov pova^fj rpSirov KarqyaTrrjKais rovs akkovs Ktv&s 
arroboKipdCll, oi redetoprj(ca)s ri bvvarov &v&p<&Trcp deooprjaai 

3 Svvaa-ffai] bvvarov Usencr Kara] seclusit Usener 4 ncai 

Kn6' tKartpovc roit t6ttovc] rp6novs Meibom : ut additamentum 
seclusit Usener 5 (jtai) addidit Usener 6 imnpoo-dfTijo-iv] im- 
■trpoo-Orjo-iv Cobet 93 I post cWtoXjj lacunam indicavit Usener 

collato Lucr. v. 519-525 . . . rarn edd. : rtl (ra B) rt) BP 1 : tl 
rarri Q • etra rrji FZ : tlra rrj libr. cett. ■ <T<Ppo&ordTfl coniecit 
Usener : fVin^torarff Bignone 6 txofuntt Usener : ixoftivois 
BP'QCo t'xopivrif FHP'Z ipxr in papivrjs HZ: t pirurpatitvoit 

FPQCo A' iK\iLnov<rr)s Usener : be KaraXirtovo^s hbn : Si xara- 
\tnrofUvTjt Muehll 8 otov nv Usener : olov rt libri 9 ovdtvl 
Usener: olQiv BPQ : oliiv FH 12 dvdytiv Schneider : Jndyav 

B : dndytiv libr. cett. : iitavdytiv Muehll 13 TtxvtTtiat F : 

rtxvtrtas B : nxvyrtiat HPQ 94 I Kcvua-tit . . . irXrjpio-fte] 



tion, the composition of the surrounding matter at the 
places of rising and setting being such as to lead to these 
results: for nothing in phenomena is against it. Or 
again, the effect in question might be produced by their 
appearance over the top of the earth, and again the inter- 
position of the earth in front of them : for once more 
nothing in phenomena is against it. Their motions may («) Their 
not impossibly be due to the revolution of the whole motioni - 
heaven, or else it may remain stationary, and they may 
revolve owing to the natural impulse towards the east, 

which was produced at the beginning of the world 

by an excessive heat owing to a spreading of the fire 
which is always moving on to the regions nearest in 
succession. The tropics of sun and moon may be caused (J) The 
owing to an obliquity of the whole heaven, which is con- tro P lcs 
strained into this position in the successive seasons ; or 
equally well by an outward impulsion of a current of air, 
or because the appropriate material successively catches 
fire, as the former fails ; or again, from the beginning this 
particular form of revolution may have been assigned to 
these stars, so that they move in a kind of spiral. For all 
these and kindred explanations are not at variance with 
any clear-seen facts, if one always clings in such depart- 
ments of inquiry to the possible and can refer each point 
to what is in agreement with phenomena without fearing 
the slavish artifices of the astronomers. 

The wanings of the moon and its subsequent waxings (g) The Moon. 
might be due to the revolution of its own body, or equally (0 lts P hase s; 
well to successive conformations of the atmosphere, or 
again to the interposition of other bodies; they may be 
accounted for in all the ways in which phenomena on 
earth invite us to such explanations of these phases ; 
provided only one does not become enamoured of the 
method of the single cause and groundlessly put the others 
out of court, without having considered what it is possible 

Kf'tttxrtr . . . TrXijpsxrtt Usener Kara arpo(pTjV GafSsendi : lenraorpo^ijK 
llbri 2 Svvmvr Melbom : timer librl 3 «cira rrpocr&rqo-tir] 
kot* imnpoaOfjo-fts Cobet 6 Ktv&t] nevoiit F: at Ktvoiis Cobet 
7 06 Tt6empt)Kus Cobet : oCrf 0f<opijnie£>r (0««pt)r«cur B 1 ) librl r< 
Usener : r< libn (bis) 

t 4 H. nvoz nreo^AEA 

(cot rC abvvarov, koX tux tovto abvyara 6*a>ptiv ivtSvpuv. 
frt re ivb4\eTai tt)v o-fX-rjvrfv l£ iavrrfs ^X eiv TO <p&9, 
05 ^v5«'x«Tai bk &irh tov fjKCov. \ Kal yap Trap' ^/xil/ dfutpelrat 
iroKKa piv i£ tavruiv %x oVTa > TroAAa 6i Acp' krdpvtv. Kal 
ovOiv ifXTroboaTaTei tS>v iv tois p.eT«t»poiy <paivopJv<»v, idv 
tis tow Tr\€ovax<>C Tpdirov iel nvrfuriv ZxV Ka ^ aKoXotfcJovs 
5 avTots VTrocVcrets fi/xa koI a£r£as ovv0ea>prj Kal p.7} avaf3\4iru>v 
els Tci dvaKoKovOa ravr 6y<oi jj.ara.ita9 Kal KarappiTir) &Wore 
a\k<i>s £ttI toi> p.ova\bv Tpdrrov. r) b\ %p(pa<Tis tov ttpoctcottov 
iv avrrj 8waTai piv yCveadat Kal koto Tj-apaAAayrji* ptp&v 
Kal Kar iimrpoa-dfTrjo-iv, Kal ocroi ttot' av Tpditol BtatpolvTo 

96 to (rvpfpwvov tois <paivopivois KCKTqpivoi. | IttI irdvrutv yap 
t&v nereupuiv rr)v rotavrrfv Ixvevcw oi -npoeriov. t)v ydp 
tis 17 paxdp(V0s tois ivapyr/pacriv, ovbeiroTf pr) bvvr)crtTai 
&rapa£(as yvr\crlov pcTaXafieiv. 

5 "EkXcii/hs r)K{ov Kal o-ekrfvris bvvarai pev yivecrffai. Kal 
/card o-fi^o-iv, KaQdirtp Kai Trap' r)plv tovto OetuptLTai, ywd- 
pevov koX f)brj kot' inmpoa-OiTqcrw aWwv TlvStv, r) yrjs r) 
aopdTov twos fj irepov toiovtov. koX t36e tovs oIk^Covs 
aWrjkois rpoTTOvs a-vvd^txiprfriov, koX ras &pa o-vyKvprfcreis 

97 TwQiV 8ti ovk abvvaTov yiveorOat. | i-Tt Te Tdfis rrepiobov, 
KaOdirep tvia Kal Trap' t&v TvxdvroiV ytverai, Kap- 
j3avc<r8a>- ko.1 r) Otla <pv<rLS irp6s ravra prjbapfj -npocrayi(rOu>, 
dAA' &\(iTOvpyr]TOS btaTrip(Ccr0m Kal ev rjj Trdcrjj paKapiOT-qri. 

5 is fi tovto pr) Trpax^jcrerai, &Tra<ra 17 tcov peT£<£pa>v a£no- 

koyCa p-arala ^<rrai, Kaddirep tlvIv i)br) iylvtTO oil bvvarov 

8 adivara P 1 : & Swart Q : rk dvfara P* 9 ivbtverat (jiiv\ 
Usener in commentano 95 5 avrott] avrijs H l : aw-iji Gassendi 
6 ravr oyKOi fuiTaiar B : Tavrdv KvpaTaimc PQ : Tavrbu KVfiartov H 
9 iitvrrpo<T&tTr)tTiv\ iir\,irp6tr$rjiriv Cobet ttot Usener: navra libri 
96 2 ixvtvtiv] t)(V€vtTiv Usener npoiTtov BPQ . irpoa-Btrtov FHZ 
3 Tit tj Usener: ria-iv P^: t'uti P s : ncri B : run cett. p&x°~ 
ptvot Gassendi : fiaxo/ievois BP l QCo : fiaXkonevoi? FH'Z 7 ^81)] 
fri Meibom : 8t) xai Cobet imirpocrBiTijaiv FP'Z : imirpSa-dtatv 
BP'Co- eirnrpoa-6r)oiv Cobet 8 aoparcv coniecit Usener (in 

rjraefatione) : ovpavnv libn • ^A^qr Woltjer : fortasse (<r«X^w;r tf) 
aoparov twos t} scripsi : if Titos libn : 9 omittendum censuit 
Usener vel in fjjiiv vertendum 9 crvvKvprjtrtis BP'H'QCo : 

trvyKpio-tit libr. cett. 97 5 ^ BF . ij wrpi PCo : ircpl Z oiTto- 

Aoyi'aJ F 1 : avrtdkayia libr. cett. 

96 IO post yivttrdat legltur iv 8^ rg ij5 Htpi (frvcrtat ravra Xryfi Rat 



for a man to observe and what is not, and desiring there- 
fore to observe what is impossible. Next the moon may 0) its light ; 

95 have her light from herself or from the sun. For on earth 
too we see many things shining with their own, and many 
with reflected light. Nor is any celestial phenomenon 
against these explanations, if one always remembers the 
method of manifold causes and investigates hypotheses 
and explanations consistent with them, and does not look 
to inconsistent notions and emphasize them without cause 
and so fall back in different ways on different occasions on 

the method of the single cause. The impression of a face (3) the face 
in the moon may be due to the variation of its parts or to m the moon " 
interposition or to any one of many causes which might be 

96 observed, all in harmony with phenomena. For in the 
case of all celestial phenomena this process of investigation 
must never be abandoned • for if one is in opposition to 
clear-seen facts, he can never have his part in true peace 
of mind. 

The eclipse of sun and moon may take place both owing (A) Eclipses, 
to their extinction, as we see this effect is produced on 
earth, or again by the interposition of some other bodies, 
either the earth or some unseen body or something else 
of this sort. And in this way we must consider together 
the causes that suit with one another and realize that it is 
not impossible that some should coincide at the same time. 

97 Next the regularity of the periods of the heavenly bodies (0 Periods, 
must be understood in the same way as such regularity is 

seen in some of the events that happen on earth. And 
do not let the divine nature be introduced at any point into 
these considerations, but let it be preserved free from 
burdensome duties and in entire blessedness. For if 
this principle is not observed, the whole discussion of 
causes in celestial phenomena is in vain, as it has already 
been for certain persons who have not clung to the 


?rp<5r, ijXiov txktiiruv at\^vr)S tiruTKorov<ri]C, <rt\f]vrji> it rov t!js yrjs 
auntrpaTos, dXXa xal hot ava\i>pr](Tiv. tovto it <cal AioytVtjr 6 

rairi Usener : ravra (ravniv H) libn irp6s BHPQ: rov 
jrpis FZ 1 : riv Z«f 
mi E 

66 ir. npos irreoxAEA 

TfxSmv itpcn{rai*e'vois, els be rb pAratav lKne(rovo~i rb ku8' 
tva rpSvov /xdvov olerr$cu ylvecr6ai, rovs h' HWovs ntivras 
tovs Karh. to ivbe\6p.evov lKfid\\eiv els re rb abiav6rjrov 
10 <pepopUvovs Kai ret <pai.vop.eva, h bei o-ijjueTa iiroSexea-flat, M*) 
bvvapAvovs owdecoptTv. | 

98 Mrjirr) wkt&v Kal rjp.epQv ■trapaWdrrovra Kal -napa rb 
raxflas t)\lov KiMTjo-eis ytveo-dai koI nd\iv fipabetas inrep 
yi)s, Trapci to y.r)Kr) rd-nwv TTapaWdrrovTa (buevai), Kal (napa 
to) r6irovs Tivas nepaiow T&yiov r) fipab-urepov, £>s Kal nap' 

5 fip.iv riva decopelrat, ols crvp.(pa>vo>s be? \eyeiv eirl tG>v 
p.ereu>paiv. ol be to e> Kapfidvovres rots re <f>aivop.ivois 
p.6.xpvrai Kal rod el bvvarbv avdpti-rxu Oeaipfjcrai biaTre-rrrat- 

'ETTicrrjfiocri'at bvvavrai ylveerQai Kal Kara <rvyKvprjo'eiS 
lo Kaip&v, Kaddttep iv rots ip.(pave<ri Trap' r)piv £a>ois, Kal irap' 
(Tfpot<io-fLS atpos Kal p.erafio\ds' b.p.<porepa yap ravra ov 

99 fxdxerai ro?s (paivopevois- | eirl be 7roi'ots irapa tovto r) tovto 
to atriov ylverai, ovk fern o-vvibeiv. 

Ne^)j bvvarai yLvecrBai Kal <Tvv[<rra<rdat Kal irapd niXyjo-eis 
aipos (xara) ■nvevp.a.Taiv crvvcicreis Kal rrapa TrepnrAoKas dAAij- 
5 \ov\oov arop.u>v Kal iinrr)bei(ov e£s to tovto reAeVai ko.1 Kara 
pevp.dru>v crvWoyrjv airo re yj)s Kal vbdroov Kal Kar' &kkovs 
be rpdnovs irXelovs al r5>v toiovto>v ervardo-eis ovk abvvarovai 
avvreKeicrdai. ybrj 5' dti avrStv rj p.ev 0Kif3op.ivo>v, 17 be 

100 p.eraf3aW6vro>v vbara bvvarai o-vvretielo-Oai, ] eVi re TTvevp.&Ta>v 
Kara<f>op& airb enirribeuov ruirajv Kal bi depos Kivovpeviov, 
/3(aioTepa? eVapdeiJcreioy yivopAvrfs airo nvmv ddpoicrp.&TtoV 
imrribeCaiv els ras roiavras in m^p.\f/€ is. 

7 t6 Kaff] T<j) Kaff Z Usener 10 A 8et BP : & 5ft ft sscr.) H : & dfj Q : 
ir) FZ II <rvi'8«t>pt iv Meibom : trvi> 6t& \aiptt» libn 98 3 rrapa 
to ... tj fipabvTfpov ut glossema seclusit Usener irapaWaTrovTa] 
napaWarrtiv Gassendi : post TTapaWarrovTn plura verba intercidisse 
suspicatus est Bignone (£ucW) adieci exempli causa (jrapa 
t6) adieci 4 rttpaiovv Usener : ntpaiovvra libn fj (3paSvrtpop 
post rjfiiv habent libn ; hue transtulit Gassendi post UpabvTtpov 
vereor ne clausula tota interciderit. De toto hoc loco vid. commen- 
tanum 7 tl] ft Usener 9 ylvttrOai BP'Q : yevtrrdai FHP'Z 
II fT€poid>(Ttir Usener : iripois <Wfi libn pirajiokai Kuhn : pxra- 
0<j\t) s hbn 99 r ttrl Usener. Zn FH'P'Z: qh n BP'QCo 

4 (nara) adieci : (81a) Bignone m>tvfiara>v cruvoHreis (<rvva><rta>r libn)] 
ut glossema seclusit Usener, qui in praefatione irvcvpdruv trvvatrti 
coniecerat . {fj) nv. <rw. Meibom : (tat) nv. <ruv. Kuhn 8 djr* 



method of possible explanations, but have fallen back on 
the useless course of thinking that things could only 
happen in one way, and of rejecting all other ways in har- 
mony with what is possible, being driven thus to what is 
inconceivable and being unable to compare earthly pheno- 
mena, which we must accept as indications. 
58 The successive changes in the length of nights and days U~) Length of 
may be due to the fact that the sun's movements above the ™*y^ and 
earth become fast and then slow again because he passes 
across regions of unequal length or because he traverses 
some regions more quickly or more slowly, (or again to 
the quicker or slower gathering of the fires that make the 
sun), as we observe occurs with some things on earth, 
with which we must be in harmony in speaking of celestial 
phenomena. But those who assume one cause fight 
against the evidence of phenomena and fail to ask whether 
it is possible for men to make such observations, 

Signs of the weather may occur owing to the coincidence (*) Weather- 
of occasions, as happens with animals we can all see on Slgns " 
earth, and also through alterations and changes in the 

99 atmosphere. For both these are in accordance with pheno- 
mena. But under what circumstances the cause is pro- 
duced by this or that, we cannot perceive. 

Clouds may be produced and formed both by the con- III Mtteoro- 
densation of the atmosphere owing to compression by '^clouds 
winds and by the interlacing of atoms clinging to one 
another and suitable for producing this result, and again 
by the gathering of streams from earth and the waters : 
and there are several other ways in which the formation of 
such things may not impossibly be brought about. And (A) Ram. 
from them again rain may be produced if they are squeezed 

too in one part or changed in another, or again by a downward 
current of wind moving through the atmosphere from 
appropriate places, a more violent shower being produced 
from certain conglomerations of atoms suited to create 
such downfalls. 

Kuhn : eV llbri lOO I irvcvfiaTaiv Karatpopq Usener : TrvtviMTa 

koto anopopav llbri : ptvjiarasv Kara ano<f>opav Blgnone 2 xai it 

d«'pot] 81 dtpoe P ! Z 

E 2 

68 ii. npos nreoKAEA 

j Bpovras ivtextra-i y(v«rdai nal Kara. wevpMros iv toi* 
KoiX&paai rwv ve<f>ibv ave(\i)cru>, Kad&itep iv rols fnxerepois 
iyyeCois, teal irapa irvpd? ■neTtvevfiaroanivov fidufiov iv avrois, 
Kul Kara p$£etr bk vf(j>&i> Kal biaard<reis kcu xar£ iraparptyeir 
vecp&v Kal Kard^eis Trrj£iv elkr}<f>6r<i>v Kpv<rTak\.oeibrj' nal 
10 rb SX.ov Kal tovto to pJpos irkfovax&s yCve<r&ai Kiytw 
iKKaKttrai ret <paiv6p.eva. } 

lot Kal a<rTpairal b' axravrais ylvovrai Kara i:\eCovs rpovovs' 

Kal yap Kara ■napdrpi.^ii.v Kal <ruyKpov<rLV ve<f>coV 6 itvpbs 
awoTeXeirrtKos <ryr] i£o\L<r0aCv(t)v a<rrpairr)i> yew&' 
Kal kot* iKpnrtcrnbv iK r&v vf<f>&v W7r6 Tcvevixdroov r&v 
S roiovroiv <ru>p.drt>iv a rtjv XaprrqSSva ravrr\v -rrapa<rKtva£ti, 
Kal Kar' iKiriatrp.6v, dX(\f/ea>s r&v ve<f><Zv yutoyAvri? ctd' vtt* 
dXXljXcoi» eW iirb 7rvevp.drceiv' Kal Kar' ip.Trep(\r)Tp-LV be rov 
air& rS>v &arpu>v Kareo-Trapfievov <f>cor6s, elra avveXavvOfiivov 
irirci rf/s KtiTjcreajy ve<f>&v re kol Trvevudrmv Kal bLtKnlirrovros 
io biA ruv ve<pa>v r/ Kara bvr\Qr\<Tiv (Sta) ru>v ve$G>v rov 
Xeirrop^peardrov (pairds, jf awd rov irvpbs v4tf>t] <rw€<£A.^x" al ' 
Kal ray /3pm>ras d-noreXeio-dai Kara ttjv to-Ctov Kivija-af Kal 
KarcL ttjv rov nvevixaros iKiripaio-w ttjv ytvopAvr\v bid re 

103 trvvrovCav cpopas Kal out <r(pobpav KartCkr]viv \ Kal Kara py£e<.s 
be ve<p&v V7To irvevpArw iKirrwaCv re rrvpbs airoTeAeorrncaiv 
ar6)xu>v Kal to rrjs aorpairris (pdvraa-pM ditore\ovo-&v' xal 
Kar' iWovs be ir\e(ovs rpdirovs pqb(a>s Icrrai KaOopav l\d- 
5 fievov ad r&v ^taivopAvoiv Kal rb rovrois Saowv bvvdfievov 
ovvBetopflv. irporepei be aorpam) Ppovrijs iv roiqbi rati 
TrepiardaeL veipuv Kal bia. ro apM ry to wtC/xa ifiuiirreiv 
i£(»det(r6aL rbv dorpajrf/s anoreheariKbv aryr^aaT^a-pjov, v'vrepov 
be ro TtvevpLa &veikovp.evov rbv f36p./3ov a-noreXeiv rovrov 
»o Kal Kar l/cuTtoo-tr 8^ ap.(por4pmv &p.a, rd^et avvrovmripif 
KexprjrrOat, vpbs fffms rrjv aaTpairqv, vo-repeiv bi rrjv /3povrqv, | 

103 Kaddtrep iv iviwv i£ airoo-r^/xaTos deaipovpAvuiv Kal trXrjyds 
rivas TTotovuivov. 

8 Siatrraorfis] Suunrcurtis Usener 9 xard^ctr Fro ben : rafctr 
BHPQCo : Suurrda-tts F : raotn Usener IOI 2 Kal ante avy- 

Kpovtriij ^ coniecit Usener 8 KartcmapfUvov Schneider : nrrre- 

(rrrttpafiivov libri io (6ta) adiecit Schneider II $ Bignone : 
9 libri $ mri ... is arrortXeio-Bai ut additamentum seclusit Usenet 
<rwttf>\fx6at Usener: trv**i\*x8ai libri 12 *ari Bignone: icat <cot4 



Thunder may be produced by the rushing about of wind (?) Thunder 
in the hollows of the clouds, as happens in vessels on 
earth, or by the reverberation of fire filled with wind 
inside them, or by the rending and tearing of clouds, or 
by the friction and bursting of clouds when they have been 
congealed into a form like ice : phenomena demand that 
we should say that this department of celestial events, just 
like them all, may be caused in several ways. 

101 And lightnings too are produced in several ways : for («0 Lightning, 
both owing to the friction and collision of clouds a con- 
formation of atoms which produces fire slips out and gives 
birth to the lightning, and owing to wind bodies which give 
rise to this flash are dashed from the clouds : or compression 
may be the cause, when clouds are squeezed either by one 
another or by the wind. Or again it may be that the light 
scattered abroad from the heavenly bodies is taken in by the 
clouds, and then is driven together by the movement of the 
clouds and wind, and falls out through the clouds; or else 
light composed of most subtle particles may filter through 
the clouds, whereby the clouds may be set on fire by the 
flame and thunder produced by the movement of the fire. 

ioa Or the wind may be fired owing to the strain of motion 
and its violent rotation . or clouds may be rent by wind 
and atoms fall out which produce fire and cause the appear- 
ance of lightning. And several other methods may easily 
be observed, if one clings always to phenomena and can 
compare what is akin to these things. Lightning precedes (<) Why 
thunder in such a conformation of the clouds, either because precedes 
at the moment when the wind dashes in, the formation of thunder 
atoms which gives rise to lightning is driven out, but after- 
wards the wind whirls about and produces the reverbera- 
tion ; or because they both dash out at the same moment, 
but lightning moves at a higher speed towards us, and 

103 thunder comes after, as in the case of some things 
seen at a distance and producing blows. 

llbn : Kai Usener . Kai Kara t(t)V <n£iv Kn\ KarA r)t)v toutou Kivr^aiv sup- 
plendum censult Bignone 103 2 ticimxriv r« Usener : iarrm<ra 
run libn 5 at 1 Usener: Kai libri 10 nor Ixmaoiv scnpsi: 

KarffHrraxriv B (unde Kar ifmraxnv edd.) : Karifmpaaiv P 1 ■ kot' 
iiatpaviv P'CoF 

70 ii. npos nreoKAEA 

Kcpavvobs ivbi\erai yCvtvdai Kal Kara irKtCovas Trvev/A&Taiir 
(TvXkoyhs Kal KaTflkr]<rtv l<r\vpav re eKvvpuxrtv ko.1 Karipprifciv 

5 fjJpovs ica\ iKtrr<a<rw Icryyporipav avrov iirl tovs Karto t6ttovs, 
rrjs prj£ea>s yivopiinjs bicL to tovs i£t}s t6ttovs wvKVoripovs 
etvai bib TrCXrjo-tv VKp&v Kal kclt avrrjv be rrjv tov irvpbs 
eWrcotrw aveiXovp-ivov, Kada Kal f3povrr\v hibfyerat yCvecrOai, 
ir\eCovos yevop.ivov ko.1 Trvevp.a.Tu>6evTos la-yypoTepov ko.1 
10 ffi£avTos to vl<pos iia to p.rj bvvacrdai tinoxaipe'iv ets ret 
I0 4 l£»}s, r<j> TiCKr)aiv yCueo-Oai del npbs 8Wrj\a. | Kal Kar' &Wovs 
be Tp6irovs Ttkeiovas evbe\erai Ktpavvovs aTroreKeto-Bai' p,6vov 
6 fivdos anto-Too- dnio-Tai be, idv tls koXws rois <pau>op.£vois 
aKokovOSiv TTtpl t&v atpavwv <rjj/-teiwrai. 

5 Ylprjarrjpas ivbe^erai ylveo-&ai Kal Kara k6.6(0-lv v^ovs 
els tovs iciro) roVouy arvXoeib&s vtto irvevfiaTos &6p6ov 
5>o-6ivros Kal bid tov ■nvevp.aTOS TioXXov (pepopAvov, &p.a Kal 


Kal Kara irepCo-Tao-iv be -nvevpxLTos eis kvk\ov, a^pos tlvos 
io eTTt<rvvu>0ovp.4vov &vu>6ev Kal pvaecos TToKkfjs irv«vpJer<&v 
yevoy£vr\s Kal ov bvvapieirqs els to. nkdyia biappvfjvai bia 
ro 5 tt\v "nipi£ tov atpos -ntKrio-LV. | Kal icos p.ev yr/s tov Trprjo^rrjpos 
Kaditp-evov o-rpofiikoL ylyvovTai, ws ar Kai aiioyevirqo-is 
Kara ttjv Klvrjo-iv tov TrvtvpaTOS y'lvrjTar eftus be 0a\6.TTr)s 
bivoi AirorekovvTai. 
5 2etcr/xoiiff ivb^\erai yCveo-Qai Kal Kara, mevp.aTOs tv rj) 
yfj aTTo\r]-^rw Kal irapa piKpovs oyKovs avrrjs Trapadeo-u? Kal 
OTvexfj K(irr]o-iv, 9 ttjv Kpdbavo-LV rfj yrj Trapao-Keva£ei. Kal r& 
itvevp.a tovto rj i£a>6ev tpLTrepiXafiftavei (rj) (k tov TtCtrrear 
fio-w (bd<pT] (Is avrpoei&eis tottovs rrjs yrjs eKTrvtvpMTovvra 
ro rbv iirei\rjfjLp.4vov aipa. (koC) Kar' avrrji' 8£ tt]v biaboo-iv 

103 4 Kardpprj^iv FH . Kara pf/^iv BP'QCo 7 iia irLXrjcriv 

P'Q 1 7retXj)(Tip B : ttanfiXriaiv F : Si* ajrf I'Xrjeriw (P J )H vt<pa>i> 
BP Q : to>v vctfiwv cett. nar avrfjn Usener ■ Kara ravri^v ]ibri. 
IO4 5 Kara Kudeatf BP'F'Co: KaraOeatv F' . Kara 6(<riv ZP 8 mg.f. 
6 crTv\oct8S>s Usener dWoeiSms hbn 7 7roXXoO] k^kX<p Usener 

8 trkdyiov Usener irK^aiov hbn 105 2 <us av . . . ylvrirai ut glos- 
sema sedusit Usener {qui it avayKuiuit . . . h'ivr]aiv . . . yivtrai senpsit) 
6 arrSXri-^riv] tvaTr6\rjyf/iv suspicatus est Usener 7 fi ttjv Usener : 

otov llbri Kpd5av<rw B s mg. : KpaSacrrov B . upabaarov cett. : r6r 
Kpa&aap&v Casaubon irapao-KtvdCet F : napaaKtvilr] cett. 8 (i)) 

adiecit Meibom 9 titru Diels (vid. Usener, praefat. xx) : <i'r hbn 
fKitvfviurroZvra Usener : *'k mtvuarmv hbn IO nraXwipfW 



Thunderbolts may occur because there are frequent (/) Thunder- 
gatherings of wind, which whirls about and is fanned into boIls 
a fierce flame, and then a portion of it breaks off and rushes 
violently on the places beneath, the breaking taking place 
because the regions approached are successively denser 
owing to the condensation of clouds . or as the result of the 
actual outburst of the whirling fire, in the same way that 
thunder may be produced, when the fire becomes too great 
and is too violently fanned by wind and so breaks through 
thecloud, because itcannot retreat to the next regionsowing 
to the constant condensation of clouds one on the other. 

104 And thunderbolts may be produced in other ways too 
Only superstition must be excluded, as it will, if one 
successfully follows the lead of seen phenomena to gain 
indications about the invisible. 

Cyclones may be produced either by the driving down vi Atmo- 
of a cloud into the regions below in the form of a pillar, s P h *™ *» d 

11,. • , . , • , • , • tirrestnal 
because it is pushed by the wind gathered inside it and is phenomena 

driven on by the violence of the wind, while at the same W Cyclones. 

time the wind outside impels it sideways; or by wind 

forming into circular motion, while mist is simultaneously 

thrust down from above ; or when a great rush ol wind 

takes place and cannot pass through sideways owing to 

105 the surrounding condensation of the atmosphere. And 
when the spout is let down on to the land, whirlwinds are 
produced in all the various ways in which their creation 
may occur owing to the movement of the wind, but if it 
reaches the sea it produces waterspouts. 

Earthquakes may be brought about both because wind (A) Earth- 
is caught up in the earth, so that the earth is dislocated in <l uake3 - 
small masses and is continually shaken, and that causes 
it to sway. This wind it either takes into itself from out- 
side, or else because masses of ground fall in into cavernous 
places in the earth and fan into wind the air that is im- 
prisoned in them. And again, earthquakes may be brought 

P'Qmg. Co: iiriKrmiuvov B : irtm\rj(uvov FHP'Z (xai) hot avrrjv 
Usener : «jt& ravrny libri 

103 II post ylmoSai legitur tA iiev no\i irpir Spot ti frfrijXoc, «'y $ 
paXiora Kepawol imrrovmv 


rijs Kivrjaeus Ik t&v mda-etov ibcup&v ttoXXwv ko.1 u&kiv 
&.vr<nr6boaiv, Srav TrvKV<ip.acri <r<f>obpar£pois rijs yfjt airavrycrp, 

106 Ivfi^x* 1 " 4 " <reuriu>vs insoTekticrBai, \ Kai kot' &Xkovs be nkflovs 
Tp6irov$ ray Kipyacis ravras tt}s yijs yCvetrdai. 


Ta be weipjara crvpfiatvei ylvtoQai Kara yj)6vov akko- 
(pvkCas twos ael koI Kara. puKpov irapeiarbvop^i>r}S, ko.1 naff 
5 ibaros &(f>06vov o~vkkoyrjv. ra be konta Trvevpara yivtrai 
kcu dklywv TTfvdvroov els tcl irokkb. KOikdfiara, 5to5do-ews 
roirtav yu>opAvr)i. 

XaAafa <rwr*A.eirai Kai Kara rrq^iv lo-yyporipav, TrdvroBev 
be m>evp.aT<oba>v ■jrepbrracriv riv5>v koI Karap^ipio-iir Kai {Kara) 
io ir/}£u> p,erpia>Tipav vbaroeibStv tw&v (koI) opov prj£iv, aua 
TfjV re o~6v(i>a-iv airr&v Ttoiovp.e'irqv koX ti)v bi6.ppr)£iu irpds 
to Kara, pepr) crvi>CoTa<T0ai Trr]yvvp.eva koX Kara a0poorr)Ta. | 

107 rj be -nepHpipeia ovk abvvarais pier Z\ei yCvecrffai itdvrodev 
rcov &Kpt)iv aTTorr}Kop.iva>v koi iv rjj wordo-ei ndvrodev, a>y 
k^yerai, Kara p.4pr) Spakws ■nepiiorap.evaiv etre vbaroeib&v 
Tiv<av etre to evpMTuib&v. 

5 XioVa be ivbi\erai crvvrekeio-0ai Kai vbaros keirrov Ikx^o- 
fxivov Ik r&v ve<p£>v bia iropaiv <rvp.p.erpia$ Kai OkCxfrels 
eTTirrjbeCaiv vecpaiv ael vtto irvevp-arajv o-cpobpds, etra rovrov 
tttj^lv iv rfj cpopS. kap,j3dvovros Sid riva lo-yypav iv rois 
Karcorepao tottois r5>v ve<pa>v tf/vxj)ao-(as TrepCcrratTiv Kai Kara. 
io irij^iv 8' Iv rots ve<peo-iv o/xakij apawrrjTa <-x OV(riv TOLavrrj 
TTpoetris 2k ru>v vecpSiv yivoiro av upbs &\kr)ka Bkl($op£vo>V 
vbaroeiboiv Kai o-vp.TrapaKeip.eva>v a olovel cruviao-iv rrotovp^va 

108 x^ a C ap bvorekei, 6 p^Mora yivzrai. iv t3 atpi. | /tat Kara 

12 avrcmoSomv Gassendi: avrarroBliaxriv libri 106 3 post 

nveifiara addendum (ravra) suspicatus est Usener 5 rd }f 

Xohto] j-6 &c \oitt6v Bigfnone 6 6\iya>v F : dXtyov cett. : 

corruptum suspicatus est Usener 9 xa\ Kara/itpia-iv scnpsi : 

Kai Kara fiipltriv hbri (Kamfieprjaiv F) : K#ra fjiepurlv Usener {xarSi) 

adiecit Meibom 10 n^iv H : r^fiv BFP^Co (itm) adieci : (jwv 
pax<a&i>v 8* rivav) Usener p^fw] onovprftrw Usener 

12 a&po6rr)Ta Gassendi : adporrjTa llbn 107 2 anorr)KOfifiia>v 

SambuCUS : arroTucopivtov B : arroiriKOfiivav HPQCo : airtrrrvKvovfuptcv 
F 1 3 Kara Aldobrandinus : Kairallbri vSaTotibav] vbaTO7T0iS>v F 

6 81a n6po>v Kuhn : iia<f>6pa>v BP'Co: Sia<f>opS>v FP'QZ: &ia<f>6pS>v H 
6kl\frtii Usener : ffkiifrfar libri 7 aci Bignone : koI llbn : om. 
Usener vno lrvtvparow Gassendi: virofivripaTos libri trtpoSpfa 



about by the actual spreading of the movement which 
results from the fall of many such masses of ground and 
the return shock, when the first motion comes into collision 

106 with more densely packed bodies of earth. There are also 
many other ways in which these motions of the earth may 
be caused. 


The winds may be produced when from time to time (c) (?Voica- 
some alien matter is continually and gradually forcing its noe8 )* 
way in, or owing to the gathering of a vast quantity of 
water. The other winds arise when a few (currents of air) 
fall into many hollow spaces, and cause a spreading of 

Hail is produced both by a powerful congelation, when (d) Hail, 
certain windy bodies form together from all sides and split 
up : also by a more moderate congelation of watery bodies 
and their simultaneous division, which causes at one and 
the same time their coagulation and separation, so that 
they cling together as they freeze in their separate parts 

107 as well as in their whole masses. Their circular shape 
may possibly arise because the corners melt off all round 
or because at their conformation bodies, whether watery 
or windy, come together evenly from all directions part by 
part, as is alleged. 

Snow may be produced when fine particles of rain are (e) Snow, 
poured out of the clouds owing to the existence of pores 
of suitable shape and the strong and constant compression 
by winds of clouds of the right kind ; and then the water is 
congealed in its descent owing to some conformation ot 
excessive coldness in the clouds in the lower regions. Or 
else owing to congelation in clouds of uniform thinness an 
exudation of this kind might arise from watery clouds lying 
side by side and rubbing against one another : for they 
produce hail by causing coagulation, a process most fre- 

108 quent in the atmosphere. Or else, owing to the friction of 

Usener : ercropar llbn 9 Karartpet Cobet : (rardiTtpoj/ BHPQ : 

(caToyrdroif FZ io Spakij BP'Q : 6/naXijp cett. ix 0V<Tlv Meibom : 
?X°>xrav BP'QCo : ?x ou<ra cett. tomutij Z : roiavTt]v cett. 

11 post #Xij3o/i«Va»< (tSiv) mseruit Usener 13 aVpi] tapi Usener 


II. npos nrooKAEA 

TpX\f/w bi v*<p&v Trfj^iv tl\.r\<p6ratv &it6iraXcnv av KafifiAvoi 
rh rrfs x i ° vo * Tovro aQpourpa. ko\ kot aWovs be rpdtrovs 
tvbextrat. )(ioVa crvvrekeio-Oai. 
5 Apocros a-vvTtKeXrai koX kotcL aijvobov irpbs SUi)\o rov 
&4pos rtov Totovroov, h rfjs touxvtt]s vypacrlas &TtoreX.€crTtKoi 
ylverai- Kal koto, (popav be r) dub vorepdv t6ttoiv rj ibara 
KeKTtfpJvOiV, iv otoiS T07TOIS pdKicrra bp6(ros rrvVT(\eiTai, 
eira o-vvobov totjto>v eh to avrb \aj$6i>T<£>v Kal ditorikecTiv 
10 vypacrlas Kal -nd\iv (popav iirl rovs Kdroi tottovs, KaQditep 
6po(a>s Kal Trap' Tjp.iv i-rsl itkeovoiv rotavrd rtva {deoopeirat.. I 

109 Kal vd\tnj hi fiera/BaWopJvoiv) o-vvTeXelrai raiv bp6<ra>v, 
ToiovTo>v tiv&v wfj^Cv nva \aj36vriuv bia TrepCarao-iv nva 
aipos ^rv\pov. 

Kpv<TTak\os a-vvrekelrai. kcu tar %K0\vtyiv pev rov irepi- 
5 <f>epovs a-yjipario-pov rod vbaros, avvuxriv be rwv o-KaXr/vav 
Kal 6£vya>v(a>v t&v iv tG> ijbari VTrapxdvrwv Kal Karcl l^oiOev 
hi t&v roiovTOiV Trpoo-Kpiaiv, h crvveKadivTa Trij£iv T<j> tfSan 
itapecrKevacre, noo-a t5>v tepMpepSiv eK0kC\f/avTa. 

*Ipis yiverai Kara irp6o-\ap\j/iv airb rov fj\iov irpbs aepa 
!o vbaroeibrj- r) Kara TtpovKpuriv ibiav rod re <£&)Toy Kal rov 
atpos, rj ra r&v xpcapardiv rovrmv ibuipara noir/crei eXre 
n&vra eXre povoeibas' a<j>' ov nrdkiv dTrokdpitovros to. o/xo- 
povvra rov &4pos xp<S<ru; roiavr-qv krj\frerai., olav deoopovpev, 

110 Kara Trpocrkapijnv ispos ra peprj. | to be ttJs itepupepelas 
rovro qbdvrao-pa yCverai 81a rb rb bidarrjpa irdvrodev Irrov 
VTtd rrjs oxfrecos decopeladai, 77 ovvuhtw roiavrr\v kap(3avovo-a>v 
t5>v ev rto aipl ar6put>v rj ev toTs v4<pe<riv awo rod avrov 

5 depos &Tro(p€popevo£>v irepi^petdv nva KadUaOai ttjv (rvyKpuriv 


108 2 &v Xanfiavoi to Schneider: dvaXappdvoiro BP 1 Q: avaKanfiavoi 
to cett. 7 Kara (f>opav\ kot avatfropav Blgnone Kara (ano)<popav 

Muehll 8 oloti Usener . toIs hbn : olr Meibom 9 post 

cmoTtkecriv Blgnone iraxvrtpas supplevit II post roiaCra nva 

lacunam suspicatus est Gassendi : {6«apciTm. Kal itiyyti Se p.eTaf3ak- 
Xoftivav) SuppJevi, (o-vvre\oviLtva SeapeiTai. (cni naxvT) di oi bia<ptp6v 
twi) Usener log 2 rotovrwv nvav Usener : rovratv nva B 

rovTwv cum htura P : tovtu>v cett. 6 koto] Kara (j-qv) Schneider, 
fortasse recte 7 o-vvikaBivra Gassendi: o-vv*kao-8tvra BHPQ: 
avvT*\*o~6ivTa F 9 otto rov scnpsi : tm6 tov BHPQ: rov F 

IO «ara irpitrKpiaw SClipsi : #tar' (Kara H) dipoe xpvcrw libri : Kara Kpao-iv 



congealed clouds, these nuclei of snow may find occasion 
to break off. And there are many other ways in which 
snow may be produced. 

Dew may be produced both when such particles as are (/) Dew and 
productive of this kind of moisture issue from the atmo- Frost- 
sphere and meet one another, and also when particles rise 
from moist regions or regions containing water, in which 
dew is most naturally produced, and then meet together 
and cause moisture to be produced, and afterwards fall back 
on the ground below, as (is) frequently (seen) to be the case 
109 in phenomena on earth as well. (And frost is produced by 
a change) in the dew-particles, when such particles as we 
have described undergo a definite kind of congelation 
owing to the neighbourhood of a cold atmosphere. 

Ice is caused both by the squeezing out from the water (g) Ice. 
of particles of round formation and the driving together 
of the triangular and acute-angled particles which exist 
already in the water, and again by the addition from 
without of particles of this kind, which when driven 
together produce a congelation in the water, by squeezing 
out a certain number of the round particles. 

The rainbow is caused by light shining from the sun on (A) The 
to watery atmosphere : or else by a peculiar union of light rainbow ' 
and air, which can produce the special qualities of these 
colours whether all together or separately ; from it as it 
reflects back again the neighbouring regions of the air can 
take the tint which we see, by means of the shining of the 
no light on to its various parts. The appearance of its round Its shape 
shape is caused because it is perceived by our sight at 
equal distance from all its points, or else because the 
atoms in the air or those in the clouds which are derived 
from the same air, are pressed together in this manner, 
and so the combination spreads out in a round shape. 

Usener: Kara <rvp<f>vtriv Bignone 13 Tomvn\v Usener: raura 

FZ : Tavrrjv cett. 110 1 to Gassendi : ra libn 4 arifuov 

Meibom : ropaiv llbri airrov aepos] f/Xtov Usener 5 post af'poc 
llbn irpoa<f)cpopcvav trpor tijk oc\r)vr)v habent (e versu 8) 4 post 
mrcxptpofUvav libn ar6pant habent, sc. lectionem emendatam verbi 
to/mov (v. 4) KaBicadai Meibom : Kadt'urSai libn 


"AA«os TTfpX Ti)v atkrjinjv yiverai koX ttivrodcv aipos 
wpo<r<f>tponivov irpds rr)v o-eK^vrjv t\ to. 6\if avrrjs pfipara 
&iro<pcp6p*va 6pa\a>s Aw&rre'AAozn-os iitl tovovtov itf? Strov 
10 KvicXtp irepurrijo-ai tls to ve<poe&es tovto koX p}\ to itapdvav 
oiaicpiwu, ri Ktti tov wepi£ aurrjs aipa avaarekkovros (rv/i- 
fUrpms navroOev els to irepupepes ro 7repl avrijp icai iraxi>M f P^ 
mi irepio-T^o-oi. | b yiverat /caret M^pj? rwa "jtoi $£to8ev Piacrap.4vov 
Tiros pevparos rj rrjs[as e7rrrj]8e£a>s itiputv iiriXap.- 
/SavopAwis els ro tovto dtrepyda-acrdai. 

Ko/u^Tai daripes yCvovrai ?/toi irupds eV Tdiroty rtci 8to 
5 XP^vcov nvGtv iv toTs p.ereci>pois trvvrpeipopivov irepicn-c£<rea)s 
yivopjjrqs, rj IbCav rwh Kivr)<nv oia xP < ' l ' &,1 ' TO " oipavofi 
Io7(oi>Toy wrep rjpas, <Scrre Ta Toiaura fiorpa ivacpavijvai rj 
avra ev \povoiS Titrlv 6pp.rj<rai bid Tiva iKpCoraa-iv Kal els 
tovs Kaff 1 f/iMs t6ttovs iKffeiv nal eKcpavrj yevio~6ai. rrjv 
10 re &4>di>icriv ToiiTOiv ylv«rdai Trapa ras &vriK(ip.4vas TavTais 
afrlas. | 

lis Tiva dorpa aTp4<perai avrov 6 avp^aivei ov povov t£ to 

p.«pos tovto toC Ko'a-p.ou kardvai, -ntpl & to \omtoi> o-rp^erai, 
Kadd-nep Twis (pao-iv, oUo »cal r<£ bu>r)v aipos iyicvicXov 
avrSi Trepieordrai, r) Kco\uTi/d) yfreTai toC irepiiroXeiv a>y 
5 Kal to. &Wa- */ ical 5ia to e£rjs p.ev airois v\r]v iirirribelav 
pit) eivai, iv be Tovrm r&> tottoi ev <S <eCp,eva 6e<i)peiTau j #cal 
kot' clAAous Se 7rA.e£oi>as Tpo-novs tovto bvvaTbv <rvvTe\eicT0ai, 
edv tis dvvrjTai to <rvp(t>oovov Tots ipawop,4vois ov\X.oy(Ceo-dai. 
Tu/a twi/ Aarpooii>ao-0ai, «J oi3r<o Tais Kiinjo-effi xp<&- 

Ji3 /Lt«/a o-vp,j3alvei, | Tu>a ie /a^ (ovVw) Kii>ei<r£lat evbtx eTat f*** 7 
/cai wa/>a to kvkX^ KWoip.eva i£ apxys ovrco KaTrjvayKdcrBai, 
Scrre Ta p&v Kara tt)v avrrjU b(vr)v <p4p«rda\. op^X-qv ovo-av, 
to. be Kara rqv &p.a Ticrlv dvai/xaKiais \p<op.ivriv evb^xerai 

7 Kal Usener : kcu Kara libri 9 avaoreXXowor Meibom : ava- 

artKkovra libri 10 irtpiorTjcrat tit Usener : n-rpi Ttjt els libri : 

nepurrriirTi Meibom II Siaicpiviu Usener: biaxplvrj libri aCrjjr 
aipa B : dcpa alrfjs cett. Ill 2 e'nirrjBfiaie SCTJpsi : fVinj- 

ddav libri 7 $ aura ... 1 1 cirLas tanquam si rep>etantur pnora 

seclusit Usener Iia I aarpa <rrpi<p*T<u scripsi : avatrrptfaTcu. 

libn : iUrrpa <rrpi<pt<T6ax Usener S] om. Usener 2 ri \omi>r] 

Ta Xot7ra Schneider 4 avrip] avrdis Gassendi IO ov/ifiatvti 

FP*(? H 1 ) : (Tvpfiaivtiv cett. 113 1 (oJr») adiea : 8' SnaXat Usener 
pro o< /ni) : Kunur&ai seclusit Bignone 3 A/iaX^v] 6/jaXI) Usener 



A halo round the moon is caused either when air is (,) The 
carried towards the moon from all sides, or when the air n,0 <> n ' s Mo- 
checks the effluences carried from the moon so equably 
that it forms them into this cloudy ring all round without 
any gaps or differences, or else when it checks the air 
round the moon uniformly on all sides so as to make that 
which encircles it round and thick in texture. This 
comes to pass in different parts either because some current 
outside forces the air or because heat blocks the passages 
in such a way as to produce this effect. 

Comets occur either when fire is collected together in v. Further 
certain regions at certain intervals of time in the upper air tduttal 
because some gathering of matter takes place, or when at ^^Cometa 
certain intervals the heaven above us has some peculiar 
movement, so that stars of this nature are revealed, or 
when they themselves at certain seasons start to move on 
account of some gathering of matter and come into the 
regions within our ken and appear visible. And their 
disappearance occurs owing to the opposite causes to these. 

Some stars 'revolve in their place '(as Homer says), which (b) Fixed 
comes to pass not only because this part of the world is stars * 
stationary and round it the rest revolves, as some say, but 
also because a whirl of air is formed m a ring round it, 
which prevents their moving about as do the other stars : 
or else it is because there is not a succession of appropriate 
fuel for them, but only in this place in which they are seen 
fixed. And there are many other ways in which this may 
be brought about, if one is able to infer what is in agree- 
ment with phenomena. 

That some of the stars should wander in their course, if (c) Planets 

indeed it is the case that their movements are such, while *"~J re e ular 

1 stars. 

others do not move in this manner, may be due to the 
reason that from the first as they moved in their circles 
they were so constrained by necessity that some of them 
move along the same regular orbit, and others along one 
which is associated with certain irregularities : or it may 

4 Kara rf/P Hfia niri»] Kara nva ilvrprtp Usener : Kara tip' HXXi/p tutiv 


ii. npos nrooKAEA 

5 bi Kai Kafl* otts t6ttovs <piperai o5 fxiv irapeKrdo-tis aipos 
elvai SfiaXcis liil rb avrb crvv<t>0o6<ras Kara rb e$f}s SfmXZs 
re luKaovcras, ov bi avcopLaXels axrre ray OeiapovpAvas irapaX- 
Xayas o-wreXeicrdai. to be y.lav alriav roiruiv anobtbovat, 
•nXeova^as r&v <f>aivopAvoiv %KKakovp.iva>v, paviKov Kai oi 
10 Ka0rjK6vTGo$ Trparr6p.evov virb r£>v -ri)v fiaraCav aorpoXoylav 
iQi)Xu>K6ru>v Kai els rb Kevbv alrlas riv&v anobibbvroiv, Srav 
riiv Oeiav (picriv fjLrjdafifj Xeirovpyiav amKvaxri. \ 
114 Tiva aarpa v-noXem6fjieva nv&p Oecopeivdat. crvp.[3alvti. 

Kai irapa rb j3pabvrepov <rvp.Trepi<pe'pe<Tdai rbv avrbv k6kXov 
■nepuovra, Kai irapa rb rr\v ivavrCav Kii>etcr0at avTio-Tr<ap.eva 
vub Trjs aurrjs b(vr]s' Kai 7rapa rb Trepi<pe'p€o-8ai ra p.iv Sta 
5 irXelovos roVou, r<i be 8t' iXcmovos, rr}v avTr)v blvrjv -nepi- 
KVKXovvra. to be hitXtHs airoipaLvevdai uepi tovtcov KaOfjKbv 
ia-Ti rots repareveo-Bal n irpbs robs ttoXXovs f3ovXop.4vois. 

Oi keyofievoL aorepes iK-nCirreiv Kai Trapcl ne"po$ Kara 
•nap&rpi-tyw kavrwv bvvavrai o-virreXelo-dai Kai irapa Hktttwo-iv 
10 ov &v rj iKTjvevp.&Tu>o-t.s yivrjrai., KaOairep Kat liri ru>v ao-rpaitoiv 
"5 iXe'yop.ev \ Kat Kara crvvobov be dr6p.u>v irvpbs anoreXecmKtov, 
o~vp.(pvXlas yevop.4vr}s els rb tovto reXio~ai, Kat Kivr\o~w ov 
$Lv r\ Spixrj i£ ^PX'7 ? K & r <*- tt\v a-vvohov yivqrai.' Kai Kara. 
TivevfxaTos be <rvXXoyt]v £v ■jnjKVuip.acrl ritriv bpLLxXoeib4o , i 
5 Kai ^Kirvpaiaiv tovtov bia ri)v Karet\»;crti;, etr tniKprifciv 
r&v irepUxovraiv, Kdi i(f>' bv av t6ttov fj 6pp.r) yivqrai 
rfjs (popas, ets tovtov (p'epop.ivov. Kai &XX01 be rpoTroi els 
to rovro reXeaai h\xv6r]Toi elaiv. 

At 8' ^irtoTj/uao-tai al ywop.evai i-n[ tkti. Qois Kara crvyKV- 
10 prtpa yivovrai roC Katpov. ov yelp ra faia av6.yKi)v rtva 

5 off pe V B: ov ftiv P ] QH»: oi FH'P'Z 6 o^Xdr FHP'Z: 
6pa\tU BP 1 ^ 7 oi fic BF : oibi cett. nvwpaKtis FPQ : dxo/ia- 
XtU B : dvafjutkas H II tivSiv] aarpav Usener : ndvra>v Bignone 
114 3 irtpii6vra Froben : ntpi6vra llbn 4 rJjs- auTijr] Toiavrrjr 

Usener 8 Kara n-a/>rfrpi^u' Usener : ko.\ wopa rpfyiv hbri 

9 iavrwv] vt<pS>v Usener : ao-rpav Bignone, fortasse recte irapa\ 
7TVpbs Usener IO dorpaTtav] aarrepcov F 1 115 2 o-vp<pvhlas H 2 PQ. 
trv/j.<pi\ias FH'Z: o-{u/t)^»Xiar B xat Usener: xai Kara hbn 

oC] 01 coniecit Usener 4 nvfipMros] irvevpdTwv . . . tovtwv (5) . . . 
4>tpovjj£vo>v ip) Muehll 5 Kai Usener : Kara libn tovtov 

Usener : tovtuv libn iirtKpr)£iv FHP : «V expi^iv B : ineKp^iv 
Q: f(cpvf«" coni. Usener: ?<cpijfii« (»\) Muehll -7 <ptpop4vov 



be that among the regions to which they are carried in 
some places there are regular tracts of air which urge them 
on successively in the same direction and provide flame 
for them regularly, while in other places the tracts are 
irregular, so that the aberrations which we observe result. 
But to assign a single cause for these occurrences, when 
phenomena demand several explanations, is madness, and 
is quite wrongly practised by persons who are partisans of 
the foolish notions of astrology, by which they give futile 
explanations of the causes of certain occurrences, and all 
the time do not by any means free the divine nature from 
the burden of responsibilities. 
114 That some stars should be seen to be left behind by («0 Difference 
others is caused because though they move round in theo r ^„f ln 
same orbit they are carried along more slowly, and also stars, 
because they really move in the opposite direction though 
they are dragged back by the same revolution : also 
because some are carried round through a greater space 
and some through a lesser, though all perform the same 
revolution. But to give a single explanation of these 
occurrences is only suitable to those who wish to make 
a show to the many. 

What are called falling stars may be produced in part (<) Fallrng 
by the rubbing of star against star, and by the falling out stars 
of the fragments wherever an outburst of wind occurs, as 
"5 we explained in the case of lightning-flashes : or else by 
the meeting of atoms productive of fire, when a gathering 
of kindred material occurs to cause this, and a movement 
in the direction of the impulse which results from the 
original meeting ; or else by a gathering of wind in certain 
dense and misty formations, and its ignition as it whirls 
round, and then its bursting out of what encloses it and 
its rush towards the spot to which the impulse of its flight 
tends. And there are other ways in which this result may 
be brought about, quite free from superstition. 

The signs of the weather which are given by certain (/) Weather- 
animals result from mere coincidence of occasion. For sls j"* j™ m 
the animals do not exert any compulsion for winter to 

Usener: (pipo/ievrjr libri 8 anvBrjrot] anxripol Usener: SfivBoi 

8o ii. npos nreoKAEA 

■npoafpiperai rov anorcXtcrOijpai x fl l Jl <^ pa > KO&rjraC rts 

6ela <t>va-is naparrjpovira rag r&v £y<av roxnmv i£rf8ov? 
n6 nHmetTa rets bmo-rjpMO-las ravras iiriTtkei. ] ovbi yap (jap) 
els rb rvxpv C$ov kov (fj) y.inp6v x a P^ aT *P 0V f ^lt roiavrr) 
puopCa i\iiti<roi, p.r\ 8ti eis Travrtkr} evoaipuovtav KtKrqpAvov. 
Tavra 8t) rtavra, TlvdoKktts, parripovevo-ov Kara iroXrf r« 
5 yap rov p.idov iKfirjo-Q koL ra. 6p.oyevT] tovtois avvopav 
dwijoy. /xiAtcrra di a-eavrbv dirtfSo? eZs r^v tw apy&v 
nal airttplas koL t&v avyytvav tovtois 0fu>plav, (ti &k 
Kptrr}pCu>v koI rsa6S>v, xal ot HvtxfV ravra ii<\oyt£6jie0a. 
ravra yap pAkicrra avvdewpovp-eva pqbCais ras irepl t&v 
io Kara pipos alrias avvopav irottj<rei. ol hi ravra p.t} nara- 
yanrio-avTcs jf p-akiara ovr (av) aura ravra koX&s crvvOtut- 
pr\aauv ovrt Hvexev bei 6eu>pttv ravra TTtpteiroirjiravTO. 

116 I (Av) supplevit Cobet 2 (tl) adiecit Usener fUKpiv 

F : fit k pa> cett. 3 ipirfoai Usener : c Kirttrri hbri : imrtcroi Cobet 
6 aitoioi tit BP'QCo: diro&oitrfis P'fFZ 9 ppfliW BF: paStac 

HP'Q 11 $ Kuhn : tj hbn oCr' (Sf) Usener : oCr« BHPQ : 
t, F 



come to an end, nor is there some divine nature which sits 
and watches the outgoings of these animals and then 
fulfils the signs they give. For not even the lowest animal, 
although ' a small thing gives the greater pleasure ', would 
be seized by such foolishness, much less one who was 
possessed of perfect happiness. 

All these things, Pythocles, you must bear in mind ; for Cotulusion 
thus you will escape in most things from superstition and 
will be enabled to understand what is akin to them. And 
most of all give yourself up to the study of the beginnings 
and of infinity and of the things akin to them, and also ot 
the criteria of truth and of the feelings, and of the purpose 
for which we reason out these things. For these points 
when they are thoroughly studied will most easily enable 
you to understand the causes of the details. But those 
who have not thoroughly taken these things to heart could 
not rightly study them in themselves, nor have they made 
their own the reason for observing them. 





iaa Mr/re vios tis &v peWiTta (piXoo-ofjxiv, p.r)T( yipcav 

vir&pyuiv KOiridro) <pikoaro<p&v. ovre yap &(opos ovbe(s icrrtv 
o£r« irdpatpos irpbs t6 Kara ifrvxijv iryiaivov. 6 bi \4yo>v 
rj (irjira) tov <piXocro<peiv vir&pxdv rj irap(\.r\Kv6ivai tj)v wpav 
5 8fJLOt6'j iari r<3 \4yovri irpHs eiibaipovCav r) prjirot Trapetvai 
Tijv wpav rj p^Ke^r (Ivai. coerre <piko<ro<pr\Tiov koX v4v koI 
yipovri, rut p.ev Sinos yrjpacncaiv vedfy rois ayadots 8ta rr)v 
X&pw tS>v ytyovoTxcv, T<p be Sucoy v4os dpa koX na\aids 
fj diet r}jv acpofilav r&v pxAAdvrcov. p^Xerav ovv XPV Ta 
10 iroiovvTa rrjv evbaipovlav, el irep Ttapo-Ccrrjs piv avrrjs ir&VTa 
ItypptV' anova-ris be rravra Trp6.Trop.ev els to Tavrrfv !\ea>. | 

133 *A 8^ croi o~vvey(Jos ttapr\yyeXKov, ravra «at rrparre (cat 

p.eX.e'Ta, oToi\eLa tov /caAcos £t}v ravr' eivai biaKap(>v. 
TrpS>Tov pev tov debv £<pov Hcpdaprov Kal paK&pLov voplQatv, 
cos 7; koivt) tov 6eov vorjaLS vueypa<pr), prjOev prjre ttjj 
r a(p0ap<r[ai aXXoTpiov p.rjT€ Ttjs paKapiorrjros avoUeiov abrtp 
rtpocr&TtTe' itav be to <f>vkaTTeiv avTOv bw&pxvov tt)v peTa 
&<p0apo-[ai pLaKapioTTjTa irepl avrbv bo£a(e. deoi pev yap 
elaiv ivapyijs yap avT&v eariv rj yvGxris. otovs 8' airoi/s 
(ol) TTokXol vop.(£ovo-iv, ovk el<rtv ov yap (pvkdrrovcrur 
io avroiis otovs vopC£ovcru>. ao-e/3r/s 8e oi\ 6 tovs twv ttoW&v 
Oeovs avaipQv, &XK' 6 ras t5>v tioXKSiv 8d£as Oeols irpocra- 

123 3 vyuiivav Iibr. plerique : vyiaivav B : vyiaivnv cit. Clemens 
4 r\ ante ^r/ira] tl B : om. Q post inapxciv habent &pav hbri : om. 
Usener • (ji]v) &pav Cobet 5 tirrn-a Clemens : ^117 hbn 6 ^ij«V 
Clemens : prjKtTi libn (^17 F) 8 xw 1 *} x a P^ v Ritter iaa 8 yip] 

piv yhp P'Z 9 (oi) supplevit Gassendl vopl£av<riv\ voovcriv 




Let no one when young delay to study philosophy, nor introduction. 
when he is old grow weary of his study. For no one can ^ h c y^ t 
come too early or too late to secure the health of his soul, study phiio- 
And the man who says that the age for philosophy has S0 P h y- 
either not yet come or has gone by is like the man who 
says that the age for happiness is not yet come to him, or 
has passed away. Wherefore both when young and old 
a man must study philosophy, that as he grows old he 
may be young in blessings through the grateful recollection 
of what has been, and that in youth he may be old as well, 
since he will know no fear of what is to come. We must 
then meditate on the things that make our happiness, 
seeing that when that is with us we have all, but when it is 
absent we do all to win it. 

The things which I used unceasingly to commend to First pnna- 
you, these do and practice, considering them to be tne "J /f xhe"nature 
first principles of the good life. First of all believe that of the gods 
god is a being immortal and blessed, even as the common The J ods 
ldea of a god is engraved on men s minds, and do not mortal and 
assign to him anything alien to his immortality or ill-suited blessed i 
to his blessedness : but believe about him everything that 
can uphold his blessedness and immortality. For gods 
there are, since the knowledge of them is by clear vision. 
But they are not such as the many believe them to be : for but their 
indeed they do not consistently represent them as they ™£ r * s " s not 
believe them to be. And the impious man is not he who popularly 
denies the gods of the many, but he who attaches to the su PP osed - 



xa4 irrcav. | oil yhp TrpoXrjyjfeis elo-lv iAA' viroX^tis \jfevbcZs 
al rStv ttoWwv vrrep dea>v &Tto(j>&o~ets r h)Qev at pUyurrat 
fikdfiai re rot? k<xkois iic dt&v iirAyovrai Kal axpe'Xeiat (roty 
ayadois). rats yhp IbCais olKaovp.cvoi bta rravrbs aperais 
5 rovs SfioCovs airohe-xpvrai, -nav rb fx?) roiodrov its aWdrpiov 

Wftff be r<p vop.({etv (uibev Trpbs r/fias etvat rbv 
66.vo.rov iirel nav ayadbv koX ttanbv iv alo-6rja-ec oripTja-ts 
b4 i<rriv alo-6^o-((as 6 Odvaros. 86ev yvSiais dpfft] rod pnjOeif 
io etvat rrpbs Tjp&s rbv d&varov &TroA.avcrrbv rrotet rb rrjs 

OvrjTov, ovk iireipov irpocrrideiaa \p6vov, &Wa rbv rrjs 
"5 aOavao-Cas atpeXop.e'vr) noQov. \ ov&ev ydp io-rtv iv 

beivbv rip KaretXrftpori yvr\triu>s rb p.rj&ev vrrdpyetv iv r£> 
fit] £fjv beipov. &are fxaratos 6 \4ycov bebievai rbv ddvarov 
ovx ort Xvirrjo-et rtapuv, aXX' ort XvireT /j.e'Wcov. h yap 
5 irapbv ovk ivo\\et, Trpoa-boKcop-evov Kevws \vnti. rb <ppiKoa- 
Mcrrarov ovv rutv kuk&v 6 d&varos ovdev Trpbs fjpMS, iTreibijTrep 
Srav p&v f]p.ets Z/xev, 6 d&varos ov Tr&peortv orav 8' 6 
Bavatos Trapj}, roff r/fieis ovk icrpJv. ovre ovv Trpbs rovs 
C&vt&s ioTiv oire npbs rovs rereXevrriKoras, inetbtfTrep rrept 
io ovs piev ovk ioTtv, o\ 5' oiner elciv. 

'AAA.' ol iroXXoX rbv Oavarov ore p.ev ws fjLtyiarov rSiv 
KaK&v (peijyovo-iv, 3re be a>s av&rravo-iv rS>v iv ru> £rjv {KaK&v 
136 itodovcnv. j 6 be o-o<pbs ovre Ttapairelrai rb ovre <£o/3eirat 
rb fir) £rjv ovre yap avrla ■npoa-larrarai rb (rjv ovre bo£&£erat 
KaKbv eivaC n rb ur) £fjv. &cnrep be crirCov ov rb rtXetov 
TT&vrws aXXa rb rfbiorov alpetrat, ovrti> Kal \povov ov rbv 
5 ar\KioTov aX\a rbv rjbiarrov Kap-nlCerai. 

'O b\ TrapayyiXXmv rbv liiv viov koX5>s Cv v > r *> v ^ 
yepovra ko\&s Karaorp4<peti> evrjdris io-rlv ov pavov bid. rb 
rrjs fay? aa-Trao-roVj aXXa Kal 8ia rb rrjv avr-qv elvai ixekiryjv 

134 3 j3Xaj3at re Usener : /3X<5/3ai ai-ruu libri : fortasse |3Xdj3a» roir 
atV/oir (rots dyaSols) supplevit Gassendi 6 vo/iLCovrtt] at fal- 
sum suspicatus est Usener . airoioKifidfrvTts Kochalsky n airupov 
Aldobrandinus . mtopov llbri P ost ab\a r&v (Siropov) supplevit 
Bignone 125 5 irap6v HP'Q : ttapwv BFP'Z 10 oviceT* 

Usener in commentario : ovk(tl hbri 12 np] r£ ex rb correctum 
B (icaxav . . .rb (!jv) supplevit Usener (excepto quod tto6ovo-lv 
Bcripsit Casaubon, alpovvrai Usener]) 136 2 8o£o£*t<h] So£ti(ti 
Richards j i« Usener : 8* to hbri 4 rjbiarov] rjhov Usener 



134 gods the beliefs of the many. For the statements of the 
many about the gods are not conceptions derived from 
sensation, but false suppositions, according to which the 
greatest misfortunes befall the wicked and the greatest 
blessings (the good) by the gift of the gods. For men being 
accustomed always to their own virtues welcome those like 
themselves, but regard all that is not of their nature as 

Become accustomed to the belief that death is nothing a- Death 
to us. For all good and evil consists in sensation, but death no^ng'to Ui> 
is deprivation of sensation. And therefore a right under- Thig makes 
standing that death is nothing to us makes the mortality hfe pleasant 
of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span , e n ^ r eath "° 
of time, but because it takes away the craving for immor- 
125 tality. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man 
who has truly comprehended that there is nothing terrible 
in not living. So that the man speaks but idly who says Nor is its 
that he fears death not because it will be painful when it an, "| I P ation 

■ < • • n . . . _ , painful: 

comes, but because it is painful in anticipation. For that 

which gives no trouble, when it comes, is but an empty 

pain in anticipation. So death, the most terrifying of ills, 

is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not With 

us ; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It it is nothing 

does not then concern either the living or the dead, dead"" 8 ° r 

since for the former it is not, and the latter are no 


But the many at one moment shun death as the greatest 

of evils, at another (yearn for it) as a respite from the 

ja6 (evils) in life. (But the wise man neither seeks to escape We should 

life) nor fears the cessation of life, for neither does life "°' f sh r U j ht l 

offend him nor does the absence of life seem to be any _ , 

J we want a 

evil. And just as with food he does not seek simply the pleasant hfe, 
larger share and nothing else, but rather the most pleasant, not a !ong 
so he seeks to enjoy not the longest period of time, but the 
most pleasant. 

And he who counsels the young man to live well, but To live well 
the old man to make a good end, is foolish, not merely dieweTi™ 
because of the desirability of life, but also because it is the 


tov koA&s £rjv ko! tov KoXSn &Tro0v7}(TKeiv. Tiokv bi xtlpobv 
10 Kai 6 \iyu>v xaAdv pth> /xt) (pvvai, 

<f>-6i>ra b' Sttojs &Kicrra iru\as 'ACbao TTtpfjo-ai. | 

137 El yap irerrotfws tovt6 <pt](ri, iris ovk &ir4pxerai iic 
to€ Cv v > % v troCfiqp yap avr<j> tovt > iartv, e? irtp rjv 
/3ff3ovkfvpJvov avr<p f3ej3altos' tl be ficoK^fievos; ftAraios 
iv toIs ovk iiribexop-tvois. 

5 MvrjfjLovevrlov be is rb p.4kkov ovre fjpJrepov ovre izamuts 
oi\ ftfitTepov, tva p^re Trdvreos Tipoo-p.ivtap.ev is io-dptvov 
prfre airekTrCfapev is ti&vtws ovk io-6pevov. 

'AvakoyLore'ov 5£ is r&v iTuOvp&v at piv elai. <pv<riKa(, 
at be KevaC, Kai r&v <£wt<c<3i> at pev avayKaTai, at be (pvaiKal 
10 pAvov rS>v b' &vayKa(bov at pev nrpbs evbaipovCav el<rlv 
avayKalai, at be "npbs rr\v tov o-dpaTos &oxkr]o-(av, °* 

138 Trpbs aird rb (fir. \ rovrtav yap ankavrjs 8ea>pla irctaav 
atpecrw Kai <pvyr)V eTravdyea> olbev ln\ rrjv tov o-<opaTos 
iryieiav Kai tt;v (tjJs \jwxv s ) arapa£iav, i-nel tovto tov 
paKapCws £rji> ^<rrt re'Aos. tovtov yap X' a P w Ttdvra TTpa.TTop.ev, 

5 oirais priTe dkyZpev p-qre rapfi&pev. orav be anaf TOVTO 
irepl fip.a.9 ytvrjTai, kverai nas 6 rrjs \jrvxvs X e *M c ^ v » 0VK 
txovros tov (wov fiabC£av is trpbs evbiov Tt Kai Ci)Ttiv 
Irepov tj5 rd ttjs ^/vxvs xal to tov a-caparos ayaObv <rvu- 
irAijpwfrerac. to't« yap fjbovfjs xP i ^ av %X°i ttv > '^ Tav 2" tov, 
ro pf] Trapeivai rr)v rjbovr/v aky&pev (orav be prj dkySipev), 
ovKtTi Tijs r/bovfjs btofxfda. Kai bia tovto tt/v rjbovrjv apx^v 

139 Kai tIXos XiyofXiv elvai tov fxaKapCias | ravrrjv yap 
ayaObv irpSsrov /cat crvyytviKov t-yvuip-tv, Kai airb rai/njs 
Karapxop.(6a irdarjs atp^crecos xai (pvyfjs ko.1 i-n-l Tavrr^v 
KaTavr&uev is Kavovi r^i iraOti. irav ayaObv Kplvovres. 

5 Kai iirtl Ttp&Tov ayaObv tovto koX avp-cpVTov, bia tovto 
Kai oil Tiao-av rjbovijv alpovp.e0a, aW* I-o-tiv ore -nokkas 

9 \tipa>v hbr. plerique : \eipov B'HZ 137 I Ik toO] tov Usener 
5 oCt» Tjnirtpov P 1 in margine : om. libn : odre n-dvrtos rjfitrtpttv 
epitome Vaticana ia8 2 en-avayav BP'Q : inavayaytlv llbr. cett. 

3 (r^r V'uxvO supplevit B 3 : om. B 1 : tov o-a>fiaros FHPQZCo 

4 trdwa BHP*: Siravra FP a QZ 8 To ante ToO] om. BF o-vtiirXr)- 
patrtTaL ep. Vat. Usener : mmirXi?/>cI)(r(>;)Tat cum litura B a : m^urAi;- 

pi>o~rjTat HP'QCo: o-vpTr\ripa>8rio-tTai FZ IO (JSrav 8t a\ya>u.cp) 

supplevit Gassendi : ^irjitv pro pff Usener : ^ijicrri coniecit Muehll 
139 6 icai oi BP'Z : Kai FP^Co 



same training which teaches to live well and to die well. 
Yet much worse still is the man who says it is good not to it is foolish 
^ born, but » 
' once born make haste to pass the gates of Death at once 
W7 For if he says this from conviction why does he not pass 
away out of life ? For it is open to him to do so, if he 
had firmly made up his mind to this. But if he speaks in 
jest, his words are idle among men who cannot receive 

We must then bear in mind that the future is neither The future is 
ours, nor yet wholly not ours, so that we may not altogether ^ n e r t °" r r s s 
expect it as sure to come, nor abandon hope of it, as if it 
will certainly not come. 

We must consider that of desires some are natural, The moial 
others vain, and of the natural some are necessary and 'l' eo ^ lsion of 
others merely natural; and of the necessary some are desires, 
necessary for happiness, others for the repose of the body, 
w8 and others for very life. The right understanding of these 
facts enables us to refer all choice and avoidance to the 
health of the body and (the soul's) freedom from disturb- Health of 
ance, since this is the aim of the life of blessedness. For body an 1. 

' repose of 

it is to obtain this end that we always act, namely, to avoid soul the 
pain and fear. And when this is once secured for us, all ™°^ v n c of 
the tempest of the soul is dispersed, since the living 
creature has not to wander as though in search of some- 
thing that is missing, and to look for some other thing by 
which he can fulfil the good of the soul and the good of 
the body. For it is then that we have need of pleasure, 
when we feel pain owing to the absence of pleasure ; (but 
when we do not feel pain), we no longer need pleasure. 
And for this cause we call pleasure the beginning and end Hence 
ia 9 of the blessed life. For we recognize pleasure as the first P Iea ^ uri = the 

, or standard of 

good innate in us, and from pleasure we begin every act the good, 
of choice and avoidance, and to pleasure we return again, 
using the feeling as the standard by which we judge every 

And since pleasure is the first good and natural to us, »• Pleasure 
for this very reason we do not choose every pleasure, but Sway's good 
sometimes we pass over many pleasures, when greater but not all 



f/bovas VTrepfiaCvofitv, 8rav TtKeZov to hvaytpes in ra&rwv 
Imyrai' Kai 7roAA(is d\yrfi6vas rjbov&v KptlrTovs vojxCCop&v, 
ineiiav peifav rjfitv fjbovi} irapaKo\ov0jj iroXiiv yj>6vov vvo- 
io ixdvaai ray a\yr)b6vas. irao-a oZv rjbovrj bta rb <p-Cffw 
Kxetv olKelav ayaddv, ov nava jueVroi aiperrj- KaOairep ko\ 
akyrjbuiv iraaa kclkov, oil irao-a bl Ael <pev/cr?) TtcipvKvia. \ 
130 rfj p.ivroi <ruftft«rpTjcrei Kai crvp,<pep6vTci>v Kai aavp,<popa>v 
/SA^i/rei raf?ra ■navra KpCveiv nadr/net.. xp<ifj.(0a yap r<ji juev 
ayadip Kara rivas \p6vovs its naicf, rai be /ca/cy roifiitaXw 
a>s ayadip. 

5 Kai rr\v avrapKeiav be ayaObv p.iya vop.l£op.ev, oi>x %va 
7rai>rcos reus dkiyots xP^^<^ a » AAA' ^ttcos eat> jmj Ixtoju.ei' 
r<i iroAAd, rots oAfyois xptxtpieda, Treireia-pLivot yrTjcritos Sri 
rjbta-Ta no\vTf\e(as a-nokavovcnv oi ijKioTa ravrqs be6p.evoi., 
Kai 5ri rb fikv <pv<riKov ttclv einrdpiorov icrn., rb be Kevbv 
10 bvcritopioTOv. 0% re Aixoi x^Aol lo~i}v woAureAei biaCrr) rqv 
f]hovt]V eirupepovcrtv, bWav &Ttav to akyovv kot e'vbeto.v 
'3 1 e£atpe0fj' I nal paQi Kai #5a)p tj]v aKporart]v aTrobCboao-iv 
rihoirqv, eittibav £vbia>v ris aura Trpoo-eviyKrjrai. to avve0l£et.v 
ovv iv rats airAais Kai ov TrokvTekiai fiiafrais Kai vyteCas 
Horl o-vp.Tt\r}pa) Kai irpds ray avaynalas rov fifov \pricreis 
5 aoKVov uoui ri>v avdpumov Kai rols ttoXvt(\4o-i.v i< StaAei/x- 
Har<ov Trpoo-epxofiivovs Kpelxrov r/pxif btarldrfcri Kai irpbs rrjv 
tvxW acpdfiovs TTapao-Kev&fei. 

"Orav ovv \iyo>p.ei> fjbovrjV ri\os inrapxew, ov ras t&v 
ao-(£ro>v fjbovas Kai Tas iv anokaijo-et Keip-iva? Xfyopev, &s 
10 rivts dyvoovvres Kai oi>x Ap-okoyovvres rj KaKoUs iKbextytvoi. 
vopil(ov<rtv, h\ka rb ni'/re aXytiv Kara oS>p,a firjTf raparreaSat 
133 Kara \j/vxvv' | °^ y&P hotoi <al K&p.oi o-wcCpovres oiif airo- 
kavcrtis iraibuiv Kai yvvaiK&v ovS' IxOvuiv Kai r&v aWa>v, 
oaa (pipti Tio\vTe\r\i TpatteQa, Tbv f/bvv yevva fiCov, aAAa 
vfi<p<3>v Koy\ «ai ray alrCas i£epevv&v Tsaar)s alpeVetos 

11 fUvroi] fiivTOi (y') Usener 130 2 ffXtyu] tmfiXiy^ti coniecit 
Usener 3 ToCpirakiv HP'QCo; rA iptrdKtv FZ: or* far irakw B 

unde r&\mt£k if Usener 7 xpw^r^a] apKwfK0a Cobet 10 ot t»] 
oi yap Usener : tfr* re Muehll jroAirrfAti P'H'QCoZ 9 : iroAvrt A(»i) 
Fi jroXvrfWtf B'H'P'Z 1 11 f)&ovi}i>] atfblav Usener 2uTav\£ 
Usener 131 6 wfxxrtpxpfUvovs GZ : irpoa-tpxpftivoit BFHPQCo 


discomfort accrues to us as the result of them : and pleasure* are 
similarly we think many pains better than pleasures, since b^Je^"' 
a greater pleasure comes to us when we have endured pains accompanying 
for a long time. Every pleasure then because of its natural 
kinship to us is good, yet not every pleasure is to be 
chosen : even as every pain also is an evil, yet not all are 

130 always of a nature to be avoided. Yet by a scale of 
comparison and by the consideration of advantages and We 
disadvantages we must form our judgement on all these judge by 
matters. For the good on certain occasions we treat as """P 8 ™ 011 - 
bad, and conversely the bad as good. We must 

And again independence of desire we think a great be content 
good — not that we may at all times enjoy but a few things, Wlth a llttle ' 
but that, if we do not possess many, we may enjoy the few ^ sq „ 
in the genuine persuasion that those have the sweetest enjoy luxury 

pleasure in luxury who least need it, and that all that is more ' ,f 14 

r J comes. 

natural is easy to be obtained, but that which is superfluous 
is hard. And so plain savours bring us a pleasure equal 
to a luxurious diet, when all the pain due to want is 

131 removed ; and bread and water produce the highest 
pleasure, when one who needs them puts them to his lips. 

To grow accustomed therefore to simple and not luxurious Simple diet 
diet gives us health to the full, and makes a man alert for ^alertness! 1 
the needful employments of life, and when after long 
intervals we approach luxuries disposes us better towards 
them, and fits us to be fearless of fortune. 
When, therefore, we maintain that pleasure is the end, +• pl « asur e 

n j 1 tnen ° oe3 not 

we do not mean the pleasures of profligates and those that m ean sensual 
consist in sensuality, as is supposed by some who are enjoyment, 
either ignorant or disagree with us or do not understand, 
but freedom from pain in the body and from trouble in the 
13a mind. For it is not continuous drinkings and revellings, hea "h of 
nor the satisfaction of lusts, nor the enjoyment of fish and ex ercise of 

other luxuries of the wealthy table, which produce a ' ne mind on 
pleasant life, but sober reasoning, searching out the P hl,osopnj 
motives for all choice and avoidance, and banishing mere 

9 mi r&s Rossi : (tai r&r tup hbri 13a I airo\av<r«r] ani- 

Xcwm Usener. 


lit. rrpos MENOIKEA 

5 no! <£vy»}s <cat ras b6£as i£t\avvtav, e£ 5>v irXeiaTOs Tas 
\frvxas KaraKap-^avei dopvftos. 

TauTiov be nivrmv Apx*) K< d ro fityioTov dyadbv <pp6in\<ris. 
bib Kal <pi\o(ro<pCas Tipidrepov iirdpxei <f>p6vrjcris, i£ al 
Xoiiral ttaa-ai -ne^AiKacrw aperal, bibaa-Kovo-a is ovk Iotiv 

lO fjhiaiS £rjv &V(V TOV <ppOvlpM>S KOI KoA&JS Kal blKdClOS (oVOe 

<f>pov(p.o>s Rot Ka\5>s Kal biKaCms) avev tov ^fiecos. cruji- 
Tt€<ptiKa(ri yap at aperal ffji' ^Seais, k<" rd ^jJv ^8e"tos 

133 tovt<dv Iotlv ayu>p«TTov. eirei riva vop.(£eis eivai KpeCrrova 
rov Kal irepl &ea>v oo-ia bo£d£oirros Kal Trepl Bavizov bia 
•jravrbs &(p6fiti>s i'x ovTOS Kal to tt}s tpvo-eios eTTiAeXoynx^eVou 
re'Aos, Kal to p,ev t&v ayaOStv 7repas is Zcttiv eio-vpnrkripu>T6v 
5 re Kal evitopiarov biaXapLpdvoirros, to be tu>v KaK&v is r) 
\p6vovs rj ttovovs ?x et fip a X f ^> T V V & e vt:6 tivwv beo-n6Tiv 
elcrayopAvqv irdvTGov iyyektavros (,ivr]v ; * * • * * &v & 
fikv KaT* avdyKi]v yCverai) d be airo rvxi 3 ' ^ ^ ( lla 9 
bia to T7ji> fiei> avayKrjv awirev&vvov eivai, Tr)v be tvx'")^ 
10 &<rraroz> bpav, to fie Trap' rjpuxs ahicmoTov, <5 Kal to fxejinrbv 

*34 Kal to tvavriov TtapaKoXovOeiv ni(pvKev | (etrel Kpebrrov r)v r<ji 
rrepl de&v pridy KaraKoXovOeiv rj rrj tuiv (pviriKaiv elpLapp-ivr) 
bovXeveiv o p,ev yap ek-xlba 7rapat7~)jo-ea)s vnoypAq^ei Oedv 
bia rt/jtTjs, rj be airapaCrriTov e)(ei T V V &vdyKr]v)' rr)v be 
5 rvxr/v ovre Qeov, is 01 iroXXol vo\xi£ovo-iv, vTro\>v 
{pvQev yap arttKrcos feai irpdrreTat) ovre (rr£cvT<M)v) afiefiaiov 
alrlav {{ovk) olerai p.ev yap ayaQbv *j KaKov e*c raurrjs Trpos 
ro puiKapCoos £f)v avOpciirois bCbocrdai, dpxas y.£vToi p.ey6.\tav 

135 b\ya6S>v r) KaK&v virb ravrqs \opr]yelo-Qai), \ Kpeirrov ewai 
vop.(£ei ev\.oyCo~Toos drvxeiv rj d\oyCrrrcos (VTVXftv (fidXriov 

5 e£ Z>v B : a<p' ov Z: om. libr cett. 9 dtdda-Kovo-a Usener • 

Jifido-Koucrat (diba(TKOvo-[at] H) llbn Sj5<kt(cou<tijs ROSSI IO (oiSf 

(ftpovipios km Ka\S>c ical SiKui'cas) supplevit Stephanus 133 3 ctti- 
XtXoyKTfif'vou codd. plenquc : (TTiKt\oyi(r/i<vov FP'Z 7 e'yyc- 

XSivtos scripsi : dyye\a>in-or P J Q l : dyy«Xm»Tor P'Q' : ayytWov- 
ror BFHZ . BwWwof 'Kuhn . biayeKavros Usener {eljiappivrjv) 

supplevit Usener nonnulla intercidisse manifestum est : extre- 
matn Iacunam S>v A p.iv <ar avdyia)v yivtrai (ylvovrai, scnpsit) supplevit 

Blgnone : *al fuiWov a pin tear dvayicijv yiyvecrBai \iyovros post tlfiap- 

fUvt)v Usener 134 4 post avayKtjv graviter interpunxi, levius 

Usener 5 vrro\ap^ava>v\ vrro\apfiai/ot>Tos Usener 6 (narraiv) 
supplevi . ntyiarw aya6S>v i; kokShv post alriav Bignone nfitf3awv] 



opinions, to which are due the greatest disturbance of the 

Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is pru- 5 The 
dence. Wherefore prudence is a more precious thing ^^" e t n t c h e ' ng 
even than philosophy: for from prudence are sprung all 
the other virtues, and it teaches us that it is not possible which teaches 
to live pleasantly without living prudently and honourably virtue^ 
and justly, (nor, again, to live a life of prudence, honour, 
and justice) without living pleasantly. For the virtues are and they 
by nature bound up with the pleasant life, and the pleasant p^^ n a t llfe 

133 life is inseparable from them. For indeed who, think you, The prudent 
is a better man than he who holds reverent opinions con- ™ a " 18 *{j pe " 
cerning the gods, and is at all times free from fear of death, others 
and has reasoned out the end ordained by nature ? He He knows 
understands that the limit of good things is easy to fulfil "nd evil, 
and easy to attain, whereas the course of ills is either short 
in time or slight in pam : he laughs at (destiny), whom and is not 
some have introduced as the mistress of all things. (He ^"5^^ 
thinks that with us lies the chief power in determining 
events, some of which happen by necessity) and some by 
chance, and some are within our control ; for while neces- 
sity cannot be called to account, he sees that chance is 
inconstant, but that which is in our control is subject to no 
master, and to it are naturally attached praise and blame. 

*34 For, indeed, it were better to follow the myths about the which is 
gods than to become a slave to the destiny of the natural ^heY in™" 
philosophers : for the former suggests a hope of placating popular 
the gods by worship, whereas the latter involves a necessity rcllg10n 
which knows no placation As to chance, he does not He regards 
regard it as a god as most men do (for in a god's acts „ "noppor- 
there is no disorder), nor as an uncertain cause (of all tumty for 
things) • for he does not believe that good and evil are good ' 
given by chance to man for the framing of a blessed life, 
but that opportunities for great good and great evil are but prefers 

135 afforded by it. He therefore thinks it better to be unfor- 

tunate in reasonable action than to prosper in unreason, prosperity 

with folly 

tttfimov Lewy 7 (ovk) supplevit Usener 8 w ante ii'iWflai 
mseruit Gassendi 135 2 vofiifa scnpsi . vopittiv F . voplfav 

BHPQ : vo)il(wros Usener (3tXnov] j&AnoTov Usener 


yhp iv rat? -npi^tai to koXws Kptdiv (<r<poXf)va.i fxaWov 
T) rd kok&s Kpi$iv) 6p&a>0rjvcu, btu ra6rqv). 
5 Tatrra ovv nal rh tovtois crvyyevrj p.e\4ra irpbs ofavrbv 
r)fi4pas Kai vvktos vp6s (re) rbv Spoiov <reavr&, naX ovbtirorc 
o&0' forap ovr 8vap hiarapaxOritrri, f»7f««y 6e «s Qtbs iv 
&vdp<i>iTOLS- ov&kv yhp foiice 9vrjr<p £cav lu>9pu>iro$ iv 

StQavdrots byaBots. 

3 yhp] y at Bignone (tr^oXijwii fiSXKov tj to kokS>s xpi&iv) inserui : 
0*^ 6pda6fjvai fj to pr) KaKat KpiQiv) Madvig 5 oravrAv Gassendi : 
•avrop libri 6 (re) inseruit Usener 8 {S>p Z*f : (a>[v] B* : {£>ov 
HPQCoZ 1 Ccoov 6 F 


For it is better in a man's actions that what is well chosen 
(should fail, rather than that what is ill chosen) should be 
successful owing to chance- 
Meditate therefore on these things and things akin to Peroration. 
them night and day by yourself, and with a companion <^££ 
like to yourself, and never shall you be disturbed waking cepts will 
or asleep, but you shall live like a god among men. For g^^g 
a man who lives among immortal blessings is not like men. 
to a mortal being 



*39 I. To pxiKapiov Kal 5.<p6apTov ovre airb Trpi.yy.ara l\ei 

ovre akky 7rap^x et > <*><Tf ovre 6pyai$ ovre x^pw avv4x (Tai ' 
iv atrdevei yap irav to toiovtov. 

II. 'O davaros ovbev irpbs f/pJas- to yap biakvdev avai- 
5 a-8r]T(i' to 8' avaia-Br/TOvv ovbcv npbs facts. 

III. "Opof tov p.eyidovs t<ov fjbovwv rj ttovtos rov a\- 
yovvros vTTf^alpecris. Stiov 8' Stv to f\b6p.evov Ivfj, icaO' bv 
av xj>6vov t}, ovk 4<m to akyovv fj to kvnoi!p.evov 17 to 
crvvap.(p6Tepov. I 

140 IV. Ofi xpw'C*' T0 aXyovv frvvex&s Iv 7-fj vapid, akXa 

to liiv &Kpov t6v tkaxurrov xpovov ir&pco-Ti, to be aovov 
vTHpTtlvov rb f)bop.(vov nara vdpKa ov woAAas yfilpas <ruju- 
fiaCvfi. al be TtoKvxpovioi tS>v appcoori&v irkeovd^ov $)(ovcn 
5 rb ribSfxevov iv rf} crapKi ?/ itep to &kyovv. 

V. Ovk foriv fib fas Cft" ^vev tov (ppovifnw Kal Kak&s Kal 
biicaCws (ovbe <ppov(p.(os Kal Kak&s Kal biKaCuis) 6vev tov 
fjbicos. 8r(p be tovto /xt) vTt&pyei, 011 (fj cppov(fuo$ Kal koXws 
Kal biKatws, {Kal Step inelvo p.rj) VTT&pyei, ovk tori tovtov 

10 rjbe'ais tfjv. 

VI. "Ereica tov dapptiv e£ avBpt&naw tfv Kara cpvartv 
ayadov, i£ <Si» av mre tovto oWs t jl Trapao-KevaCeo-dai. \ 

139 3 aa6(vti\ ao-0evelq Sent. Vat. I 8 to \\moiptvov] om. 

t6 BP'QCo 140 3 <Tvnf3ait><t) ovuptvet Bywater 7 (ov8e v 

(ppovipms Kal koKS>s Kal fiucaius) supplevit Gassendi, cf. Diog. Oen. 

54 8 Si tovto] i' Tovrtov Usener or fij ... 9 vtrupx" om> 

Sent. Vat. V ov] otov Usener : 1 1 oC Bignone Co scripsi : Cv" 
libn : (rjv Gassendi 9 (icai Sry i*ttvo prj) supplevi 11 

Usener : fj libn 12 ayadov] fortasse HyaQa Usener : num adden- 
dum (ravra (t/rtlv) ? roDro] tovto tic Meibom 


139 3 post t6 toiovtov legitur iv dXKott be <pj)0-t rovs Stovt \6y<p 
BtnprfTovs, ofct /ta> kot' aptBpov vfaoT&rar, obt bi Kara 6/xoubttav (k rfjs 



139 I. The blessed and immortal nature knows no trouble 

The divine 

itself nor causes trouble to any other, so that it is never ""'"re. 
constrained by anger or favour. For all such things exist 
only in the weak. 

» II. Death is nothing to us- for that which is dissolved Death, 
is without sensation ; and that which lacks sensation is 
nothing to us. 

III. The limit of quantity in pleasures is the removal of The limit of 
all that is painful. Wherever pleasure is present, as long P lett » ure > 
as it is there, there is neither pain of body nor of mind, nor 
of both at once 

140 IV. Pain does not last continuously in the flesh, but the Bodily pain 
acutest pain is there for a very short time, and even that J^'f^g'* 
which just exceeds the pleasure in the flesh does not 
continue for many days at once. But chronic illnesses 

permit a predominance of pleasure over pain in the flesh. 

V. It is not possible to live pleasantly without living Connexion of 
prudently and honourably and justly, [nor again to live pleasure and 
a life of prudence, honour, and justice] without living 
pleasantly. And the man who does not possess the 
pleasant life, is not living prudently and honourably and 

justly, [and the man who does not possess the virtuous 
life], cannot possibly live pleasantly. 

VI. To secure protection from men anything is^aTrotection 
natural good, by which you may be able to attain this 



140 1 1 post Korh (pio-w legitur apxrjs nai fiairi\tias . retinuit Muehll 


M- 1 VII. "Evbo£ot koI ircpCfikeiTTot rives if}ov\q$r)(rav ytvio-Bai, 

tt]V i£ dwOpdiroav ao-<pa\eiav cArm vopCCovrts irepnrovqo-fcrdai. 
(Sore el piv a<r<£aAj>s 6 t&v toio&tcov f3(os, aniKafiov rd 
Tfjs <f>vtreo)s &ya$6v (I be pri &<r<pa\rjs, oIk k\o»<riv o5 
5 kveKa l£ &PXV S xara ro Trjs <pi6<r«os oltcetov i>pif(6y]<rav. 

VIII. OibepCa f)bovrj ko6' iavrb k&k&v &Wa ra rtv&v 
fjbov&v TTOirirtKa iroWair\a<r(ovs inicpepei ras 6x^V< rfL * t&v 
fi&ov&v. J 

*4* IX. EI KCLTeTrvKVOvro nava fjbovri, Kal \p6vtp KaL "tepX SXov 

rb &6poiapa VTrr/pxev V ra Kvpuirara pe"pr) rf/s <pvtrca>s, ovk 
&v wore bu<pepov iWrjkcov al fjbovat. 

X. E2 ro 7ronjriKO t&v Tie pi tovs acri&Tovs fjbov&v ikve 
5 tovs (pofiovs Trjs biavoCas tovs re -Kepi p^redptov nai davarov 

Kal aXyTfh6va>v, eri re to nipas r&v i7r1.6vp.iStv {koI t&v 
iXyrjbovoov) iblbacrKev, ovk &v irore etxopev 8 rt pep.\j/alp<6a 
avroTs, TiavTaxpOev eKir\r)povpi'vois t&v rfiov&v Kal ov6ap66ev 
ovre to &Kyovv ovte to Xvnovpevov i\ov(rw, oirep icrrl rS 
10 ko.k6v. 

XI. Ei psr\&ev r)pas al ru>v peTea>pa>v viro^rCai rivdyXovv 
Kal al -nep\ OavaTov, prj wore upbs fjpas ff ti, en re ro pr\ 
KaTavoeiv tovs opovs t&v aXyrjbovcnv Kal t&v i-nidvpi&v, ovk 
av TtpoaebeopeOa <pv<rioXoy(as. \ 

143 XII. Ovk fjv ro <pofHovp.evov Kveiv virep t&v KvputtraroiV 

per] KareiSoYa r£s f) rov crup-navros <pij<ris, a\X' vitoTnev6pevov 
ti t&v Kara tovs pvQovs. &ore ovk tjj> avev (pvcriokoyCas 
aKepaCovs ras f)bovas airokapfliveiv. 
5 XIII. Ovdev Scf>e\os rjv tt]v Kar avOp&Ttovs ao-Qakeiav 
KaracrKfv&Ceo-ffat t&v &vu>0ev iirourwv KaOeardroiv Kal r&v 
virb yr)s Kal airX&s t&v iv t& awelpip. 

XIV. Tt;s ao-<f>akfCas rrjs If avOpdircov ytvopAvrts pixP 1 

141 6 iavro BHP'QCo : iavrhv FP'Z kokqv BHPQ : natr, FP'Z 
143 1 post t'i&ovr), (kal pvriw]) supplevit Bignone : («ai t6v<?) 
Crttnert ical xp^"" FP'Z ' ra . . . xP^ va B 1 : to> koX xp^w 
B'P'Co : xpdvp Amdt ntpl oXov Rossi : ntpl 6b6v FP'Z : 

mplobov BHP 1 QCo 4 a<ra>Tovt] a<ra>fi(iTovs FZ : titrapdrovc 

P a 6 («al rav aXyj)8dco>f) ex Diog. Oen. fr. 45 supplevit 

Bignone, cf. XI 7 ptpyj/aititBa] fjttp<pa.n*Qa B : tpenifraptda 

Usener 8 tKirkrjpoviiivois Diog. Oen. Usener: ultTTrXripovpfvoic 
libn 12 « to ptj KaTavottv Lachelier : T*r<5X^i?iica vo*iv Iibri 


14 1 VII. Some men wished to become famous and con- Fame and 
apicuous, thinking that they would thus win for themselves Potion *re 
safety from other men. Wherefore if the life of such men "° protectlon 
is safe, they have obtained the good which nature craves ; 
but if it is not safe, they do not possess that for which 
they strove at first by the instinct of nature. 

VIII. No pleasure is a bad thing in itself: but the Impure 
means which produce some pleasures bring with them P leasures 
disturbances many times greater than the pleasures. 

14a IX. If every pleasure could be intensified so that it Difference or 
lasted and influenced the whole organism or the most P leasures 
essential parts of our nature, pleasures would never differ 
from one another. 

X. If the things that produce the pleasures of profligates Failure of 
could dispel the fears of the mind about the phenomena of p^" a s " u a r ' p 
the sky and death and its pains, and also teach the limits 

of desires (and of pains), we should never have cause to 
blame them : for they would be filling themselves full with 
pleasures from every source and never have pain of body 
or mind, which is the evil of life. 

XI. If we were not troubled by our suspicions of the Need of 
phenomena of the sky and about death, fearing that it*^""/ 01 " 
concerns us, and also by our failure to grasp the limits of 

pains and desires, we should have no need of natural 

XII. A man cannot dispel his fear about the most Science saves 
important matters if he does not know what is the nature us from myth 
of the universe but suspects the truth of some mythical 

story. So that without natural science it is not possible to 
attain our pleasures unalloyed. 

XIII. There is no profit in securing protection in Protection 
relation to men, if things above and things beneath the fr ° m men 
earth and indeed all in the boundless universe remain „M 
matters of suspicion. science. 

XIV. The most unalloyed source of protection from Retirement 

best secures 

143 2 virorrr(v6iuvov] {mcmrtlovri Sent. Vat. XLIX : xmovrtiovra 
Usecer in commentario 

ni» G 


rivbs bvvapid Ttvl l£optcrriKfj Kal einropCa tlkiKpuxo-rirr) 
10 yCvtrat f) in rfjs fjavx^ as koX Ik\u>pt/}0-€US t&v noW&v 
a<r<pa\(ia. | 

*44 XV. 'O ttjs (jyuviuis nkodros Kal tSpttrroi Kal evirdpurrds 

icrrw 6 6k T&v KtvS>v bo£S>v els &Ttetpov ^KirCjrret. 

XVI. Bpa-x^a <ro<p& rvxv ■napepmbTrrd, to. bk p^yiora Kal 
Kvpuirara 6 Aoyto-jxos btyiajKe Kal Kara rhv <rvvexv xP^ vov 

5 TOV ySfol) blOLKfi xal hioiKri<Tti. 

XVII. l O bUaios arapaKTrfraTos, 6 3' ASikos nkcicmis 
rapaxv* yip-oav. 

XVIII. Ovk tnati^erai tv rfj o-apK.1 7) r)bovr\, iitcibav &ira£ 
to Kar' Zvbetav akyovv l$aipe0y, akka p.6vov iroKcfXAeraf 

io rrjs bk biavoCas to iripas to Kara ttjv ^Sojr^j; aveytvvrjo-ev 
rj re tovW<ov avrZv iKktSyuris Kal raiv dfwyev&v tovtols, 8<ra 
Tovs pLeyicrrovs <f>6(3ovs Trapt(rKeva£e Tfj buxvoCq. | 
145 XIX. 'O 6.TTtipos xP^ vos t<rr\v %X ft T V V V°^ VT I V * a ' 

■nenepacrpAvos, iiv Tts avrfjs ra -nipara KarapLerprjari Ty 

XX. 'H yCtv crap£ a?r£\a/3e ra irlpara ttjs f/boinjs &neipa, 
5 Kal aneipos avTqv x/>oVos TTapeo-Kevaaev. i) 8k StaVota, roS 

rrjs aapKos r4kovs Kal -niparos kapovo-a rbv £nikoyi<T\x.6v, 
Kal tovs vTskp rov al&vos <f>6fiovs eiikvcrao-a rov Travrekr} filov 
■napeaK&iao-ev, Kal ovdkv <?Tt rov aireCpov XP° V0V -npoo-ebtr\- 
07)p,tv akk' ovre 2<pvye tt)v rjbovriv ovd* f/vfca ti)v i£aycoyr)v 
so iK rov Qfjv ra Trpdy/xara iraparKevaCev, a>s ikkelirovcrd n rov 
apCcrrov fi(ov Kar4<rrp£<ptv. | 

XXI. 'O ra tiipaTa rov /3fov KareiScb? olbev a>s exm6ptar6v 

tori, to (r6) akyovv Kar Zvbeiav l£aipovv Kal to rbv 8kov 

/BCov TravTfkrj Kadiorrdv wort ovbkv Trpoo-bftrai -npay^arutv 

ay&vas K€Krr}p,iv<ov. 

9 nut Usener : re Iibri, Bignone t fopiorKcg Meibom : 
piirriKf) P'Z: ifctpurTiKr) F : f£atpi<rriKT) BP Q: i^tpfitrrudi H, wide 
i^tpturriKri Usener: e^epticmK§ Bignone: l£*p*uris com. Usener 
tvtropta tl\iKptPta~ra.Tt}] tvrropia tYKiKpivurrat-jj f: tviropip tIKiKpi- 
ytaripa Muehll ' (i\tKptvta{jrarit , tirt^tpyaaTiKcoyraxTj Bignone 
IO i KXvpr)<rea>s HZ 8 : »yx s) PV Tfo ' r BFPQCo'Z 1 12 aa-<paktta] u8«ia 

coniecerat Usener 144 3 &pa\ia BFP 1 : 3pax«a HP*Q Tyxv] 
tvxr Cobet 4 Si^kijkc Stobaeus : ltid>KT)Kt (SimKti Z)libn : dupa/at 
Usener kgX] om. Usener 5 rod ptov] om, FCo'Z Bioucei 
xai iiotKTjtrtt ut glossema seclusit Usener 6 S SUaios) ^^o^ add. 

Diodorus Sent. Vat. XII II «f*\<5yt£rir BPQ: ^Xrfyijo-is FCo'Z 

145 5 xal] k&v Diels Areipor] Sartip(av ovk 3ir«ip)ot Bignone trapt- 


men, which is secured to some extent by a certain force 
of expulsion, is in fact the immunity which results from 
a quiet life and the retirement from the world. 

144 XV. The wealth demanded by nature is both limited Nature's 
and easily procured; that demanded by idle imaginings wealtb " 
stretches on to infinity. 

XVI. In but few things chance hinders a wise man, but Chance and 
thegreatest andmost important matters reason has ordained rea30n in llfe 
and throughout the whole period of life does and will 


XVII. The just man is most free from trouble, the Justice and 
unjust most full of trouble. 

XVIII. The pleasure in the flesh is not increased, when Limits of 
once the pain due to want is removed, but is only varied : J^jjj"" 1 
and the limit as regards pleasure in the mind is begotten pleasure 
by the reasoned understanding of these very pleasures 

and of the emotions akin to them, which used to cause the 
greatest fear to the mind. 

145 XIX. Infinite time contains no greater pleasure than infinite time 

• limited time, if one measures by reason the limits O f doesnot 
' increase 

pleasure. pleasure 

XX. The flesh perceives the limits of pleasure as un- The flesh, 
limited and unlimited time is required to supply it. But p ^" r e and 
the mind, having attained a reasoned understanding of the 
ultimate good of the flesh and its limits and having dis- 
sipated the fears concerning the time to come, supplies us 
with the complete life, and we have no further need of 
infinite time : but neither does the mind shun pleasure, 
nor, when circumstances begin to bring about the departure 
from life, does it approach its end as though it fell short in 
any way of the best life. 
H6 XXI. He who has learned the limits of life knows that Pleasure 

that which removes the pain due to want and makes the wlthout 

, . , . competition, 

whole of hie complete is easy to obtain ; so that there is no 

need of actions which involve competition. 

mavamv\ opt<rKoi &v Usener 7 rhv rrayT(\rj] fortasse iravnkii ray 

cf. XXI 8 xp<S«w BP'Q : ftov FHCo'Z irpoo-t&ifjBrintv FHCo'Z . 
irpoa-tbtBtj/uv PQ : irpootbtijBrf (oi) fiJjv Usener 9 0C6' H : oite 
B: oij' F H KaT(<rrpt(ptv] lurrtarpftycv By water 146 1 (to) 

supplevit Casaubon 

G 2 


5 XXII. To $<f>t(rrr)Kbs bel riXos iinkoyl(e<r0cu. koI tavav 
r^v ivdpyei.av, i<f>' fjv rh bo£a£6neva avayopev el t$ p,jj, 
n6vra aKpiaCas nai Tapa\rjs (oral (xecrrd. 

XXIII. El p&xW T(i<ratff rots alo-drja-eo-iv, oix ££«s oib' 
as av (pvs avrGtv bietyevcrdai irpos rC iroiovp-evoi rqv avayu>yfjv 
10 Kpbrps. I 

147 XXIV. Er tiv iKf3akeis hirkws at(r6r\<riv Kal fxrj <5iaip7j<reis 
rd bo£a£6p.evov Kara to trpovy.ivov Kal to irapdv ijotj Kara 
ttjv at<r6r}<riv Kal ra 1:6.61) Kai iraa-'av (pavracmicriv iirLpokriv 
■rijs biavolas, <rvvrapd£eis Kal ras kouras al<rd^<reis rj; fiara(<p 

5 bofy, uxrre to Kpir^piov airav tufiakels. el be /3((3au&<reis 
xal to Trpoa-fxevov airav ev rais bo£a<rrLKalf ivvolair Kai 

TO /AT] T7JV fTTlfjUipTVpr](Tll>, OVK SKKeltp-flS TO bietyeVfTp^VOV, 

a>S TtrrjprjKcbs «?<rffl nacrav afj.<f>i<rl3rfT7)(rur Kara iracrav KpC<rtv 
tov 6p6S>s y pvr) 6p6S>s. \ 

148 XXV. Ei fxi) irapa itavra Kaipbv enavol<rei$ tKa<rrov t&v 
TtpaTTOjiivuiV inl to rikos tvjs (pvo-ews, akka wpoKaraoTp^eis 
fire cpvyfjV elre bCoo£lv noiovp.evo? els &kko rl, ovk 4crovraC 
rrot rots koyois al -npa£els aKSkovOot. 

S XXVI. Tcov eTrlOvjAlGiv ocrai /xij i-n akyovv tiravayovcnv, 
ehv (J.TJ avfjLT:kT]pu)6S)(Tw, ovk elalv avayKaiai eibia\vrov 
tt]V ope£iv txpvcriv, Srav bvo-ndpicrrov jj /3Xd/3T)s direpya- 
crriKGU bo£<t)(Ttv elvai. 

XXVII. *£Lv 7) <ro<pla irapacrKev6.£eTai eh rr)i> tov okov 
10 j3iov pMKapioTrfTa, Trokv pAy{.<rr6v icrrw fj rfjs (piklas Krrj<rty. 

XXVIII. 'H avTT) yv&p.r\ Qappeiv re e-Tio(ri<rev iirep tov 
(ir)t)ev alvviov etvai beivov prjb^ Trokv\\p6viov, Kal -rrjv £v 
avrotff rots £vpuTfiAvoi.s a<r<p6,keiav (pikCas pidkwrra Karelbe 
avvrekcivpAvr)V. | 

149 XXIX. T&v eiriOvpnQtv al p.£v elai <pvrriKai Kal (avayKaiai' 

5 rtXos secludebat Schneider 147 1 *K&a\flr Cobet : ex&a- 

\ck H 1 : t«/3aXXfcs codd. cett. 2 xarii codd. plenque : Kal FCo'Z 

Usener 4 naralcp Usener: paraim HPQ : parcda FCo*Z 

5 fKpa\<tt Z*f : ftcpaWfir codd. cett. 7 ticXttyetc] (KKttyti 

Bonnet 8 is TtrriprjKibs] Sicrr' avnpt]Ka>s vel t£flpr)Ka>r Usener : 
Shjt* Tfrtipr)Ki>s Merbach Kara Bignone : Kal codd. Usener : 
icat (flvup^)Ko>s) GlUSSani 148 6 fv^ia^vrov] aSidxvrov HQ 

7 hvanopioTov BP 1 : 6Wn-e5purroi F ^ ($) Usenet : ? B : fj codd. 
cett. 13 duXi'as] duXi'ais Usener: <f>i\iq vir doctus apud Madvig 

KOTflfie Madvig : Karelvat hbri 149 I qtuiruai Kal ^dvayKaiai' 


XXII. We must consider both the real purpose and aH The tests of 
the evidence of direct perception, to which we always refer moraI actIon - 
the conclusions of opinion ; otherwise, all will be full of 

doubt and confusion 

XXIII. If you fight against all sensations, you will have Rejection of 
no standard by which to judge even those of them which a11 sensatl0ns - 
you say are false. 

XXIV. If you reject any single sensation and fail to Rejection of a 
distinguish between the conclusion of opinion as to the ^ ] **£ ns *~ 
appearance awaiting confirmation and that which is actually failure to 
given by the sensation or feeling, or each intuitive ap- gen^onand 
prehension of the mind, you will confound all other sensa- opinion, 
tions as well with the same groundless opinion, so that 

you will reject every standard of judgement. And if 
among the mental images created by your opinion you 
affirm both that which awaits confirmation and that which 
does not, you will not escape error, since you will have 
preserved the whole cause of doubt in every judgement 
between what is right and what is wrong. 

XXV. If on each occasion instead of referring your Necessity of 
actions to the end of nature, you turn to some other nearer th^^ate 
standard when you are making a choice or an avoidance, standard, 
your actions will not be consistent with your principles. 

XXVI. Of desires, all that do not lead to a sense of Unnecessary 
pain, if they are not satisfied, are not necessary, but in- deslres 
volve a craving which is easily dispelled, when the object 

is hard to procure or they seem likely to produce harm. 

XXVII. Of all the things which wisdom acquires to Value of 
produce the blessedness of the complete life, far the greatest fnendshl P 
is the possession of friendship. 

XXVIII. The same conviction which has given us con- Friendship 
fidence that there is nothing terrible that lasts for ever or ^^j,"" 
even for long, has also seen the protection of friendship 

most fully completed in the limited evils of this life. 

XXIX. Among desires some are natural (and necessary, ciassificauon 

of desires 

al Si <j>vaiKa\ fuv) ovk avavKatat (&«') supplevit Blgnone ex Sent. 
Vat. XX . oWiKai Kai ovk avaynaitu llbn : oWi/cal ko\ (avaynalai' al 
fie aWual} icai ovk avayiaumi Stephanus 



dl 8* <f>v<riKal pikv) ovk ivayKaiat (bf)- al be ovre <pvaiKal 
aire dvayKaXai oXXa irapa Kev^v b6£av yivdpevat. 

XXX. 'Ev ats r&v <pv<riK&v iiri.0vp.uiv, p.if i-n dkyovv 
5 be iiravayova-Qv, iav p.rf ovvrekeo-d&criv, intdpxa rj mrovbri 
(tuvtovos, irapa KevifV bd£av avrat yCvovrai, teal ov irapa tt)i» 
iavr&v tpi/o-iv ov biax^ovrcu AXXa irapa ttiv rod ivdptoirov 
K(vobo£Cav. | 

J5° XXXI. To ttjs (pvo-ems hlitawv icnX o-vp.j3o\ov rov o~vp.- 

<pipovros els to nfj /3XaVreii> AXXjjXous p,r)be fikdirrevBat. 

XXXII. "Oo-o twv C<pu>v ixri o-vvdriKas iroieZo-dai 
ras virep rov ^t) /3Xdirreu> fiXXijXa prfik j3\dirreo-dai, irpbs 

5 ravra oiOev fjv Mkmov ovbe abiKov uaairos be ko.1 t<Zv 
idv&v Sea firj ib'uvaro rj p.rj ifiov'kero ras (rwtfijra? iroielo-flai 
ras iirep rov fjj) fikdirreu/ nrjbe jSkdirrevdai. 

XXXIII. Ovk tfv ri Kafl' kavro btKatoo-uvrj, aXX' iv rats 
p*r' AAA 17X0)11 crurrrpotpaTs lead' dirqXCKOVs b-q irore ael Toirovs 

jo orwOriKT} tis inrep rov fxr/ fiXdirreiv rj fiXdirTeaQai.. | 
15 1 XXXIV. 'H &bii<la ov icafl' iavrrjv kclkov, aXX' iv r£ 

Kara rfjv viro^tav <po/3<p, el \rj<rei rotis virip r5>v toio£t<i>v 
ftpeo-rrjKoraf Kokaords. 

XXXV. Ovk lort rov kdOpq rt iroiovvra 3>v oiWfleiro 
5 npbs oXXjjXous els to p.r) f}\dirreiv p-rfbe fikdirTfo-dai, irurTeveiv 

6V1 krfaei, k&v p.vpid.Ki.s iirl rov irapoirros \av6dvjj. M^X/" 
yap KaraaTpo<pfjs dbrjkov el Kai krjcrei. 

XXXVI. Kara p.ev (to) koiv6v irSai rd bUaiov rd avrd, 
avp.(p(pov ydp ri tJi> ev rfj -npbs aXXjjXovs Koiva>v(q.' Kara 

10 be rd Xbiov ^wpas Kal 5<rcov 8^ irore alrCtov ov Tra<rt (rvv^-nerai. 
to avrb biKawv etvai. \ 
15 3 XXXVII. To fxev itnpM.pTvpovp.evov on (rvp.cpe'pei iv rats 

4 post <f>va-tK5)v fortasse fiiv Usener 150 4 aXX^Xo Gassendi . 
aXXA BFQH'Z : £K\a . . P : aXA' hv H 1 : SMa Usener 5 1}» 
Usener: ^ BHP'Q : t) oiSt P* : eVrtv ovbt FCo'Z 151 4 ttoiovv- 
ra] niroiwa Madvig 6 <n-i Sent. Vat. VI Menagius : ajro 

BQP 1 : Sm6 FP'Co'Z 8 (jo) supplevit Gassendi 


149 3 post yiv6p*vai legltur (frxxriKht Kai avayKaiat ifytvrai 6 
'Eiraecvpot rat aXytjWwr airoXuovcrat, jtotAv rfjrl Sl-jfovs' <pv<rtKar 
ovk avayKaiat Si ras srouuXXovaar p&vov rfjv Tjdoyfjv, fify vntfcatpovfitvac 8r 
rd Skyijpa, &>t iro\vri\fj trtr/a* olfrf dt tjtvtnKat oOrt dvayKaiar, a>r 


some natural) but not necessary, and others neither natural 
nor necessary, but due to idle imagination. 

XXX. Wherever in the case of desires which are Imagination 
physical, but do not lead to a sense of pain, if they are ^ u d n £"es." 
not fulfilled, the effort is intense, such pleasures are due 
to idle imagination, and it is not owing to their own nature 
that they fail to be dispelled, but owing to the empty 
imaginings of the man. 

150 XXXI. The justice which arises from nature is a pledge Nature of 
of mutual advantage to restrain men from harming one Justlce 
another and save them from being harmed. 

XXXII. For all living things which have not been able No justice 
to make compacts not to harm one another or be harmed, ^m^ct 
nothing ever is either just or unjust; and likewise too for 

all tribes of men which have been unable or unwilling to 
make compacts not to harm or be harmed. 

XXXIII. Justice never is anything in itself, but in the Justice not an 
dealings of men with one another in any place whatever ^^^ nt 
and at any time it is a kind of compact not to harm or be 


15 1 XXXIV. Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in injustice 
consequence of the fear which attaches to the apprehension 

of being unable to escape those appointed to punish such 

XXXV. It is not possible for one who acts in secret The fear of 
contravention of the terms of the compact not to harm or detectlon - 
be harmed, to be confident that he will escape detection, 

even if at present he escapes a thousand times. For up 
to the time of death it cannot be certain that he will indeed 

XXXVI. In its general aspect justice is the same for Variability ot 
all, for it is a kind of mutual advantage in the dealings of Justlce 
men with one another : but with reference to the individual 
peculiarities of a country or any other circumstances the 

same thing does not turn out to be just for all. 
15* XXXVII. Among actions which are sanctioned as just Test of just 


arf<f>i}>ov! (fa! avtptAvrav ayaBtcrttt 

ilXyi^ldW Weil : oXytjoovac llbn 8i post ovk (Wyxai'ac om. FCo'Z 

io 4 IV. KTPlAf AOSAI 

Xpeiais TTfs Ttpbs &WrjXovs xoivmvfas t&v vopxotiiVTeov ttvai 
biKaCwv, l^ei T ^ T °v biKoCov iv4xypov, idv re rb airb itatri 
yeVrjreu, i&v re pJi rb air6. ibxv be v6puov OfjraC Tts, p-fl 
5 awo/3a/i>jj be Kara rd avp.tpe'pov rfjs irpbs &XXt}\ovs Koaxavias, 
ovk4ti tovto tt\v tov biKaCov <pv<riv ?X etl K & v H XTa7r ^ 7rr V 
rb Kara rb bCnaiov ovpupcpov, yj>6vov hi riva els r?jv 
■np6\r)\\riv iva.pp.6TTj), olbev fjrrov ineivov rbv xpovov fiv 
bUatov toIs pLri <po>vaii Kevals eavrovs crvvrapArrovtriv &XX' 
10 els ra •np& fiXi-novcrw. | 
x 53 XXXVIII. "Evda fiti kouv&v yevop.ev(ov t&v TTepierrrdrayv 

irpaypidTwv bvetpavrj fir) ivapparrovra els tt)v -rrpoXrjyfnv ra 
vop.i(r64vra bUaia ctt' avr&v t&v tpywv, ovk r/v ravra blKaia. 
tvda be Kaiv&v yevojiivoav t&v itpayp.6.T0)v owcert crvvicpepe 
5 ra aira bUaia Ke(p.eva, evravOa be Tore p.ev r\v bUat', 8re 
<rvvi<pepev els tt)v -npbs viXXrjXovs KoivmvLav t&v o~vpnroXiTevo- 
p-ivozv varepov 8' ovk r\v eYi 6i(caia, 6re fir) crvve'cpepev. J 
154 XXXIX. c O to pit] Oappovv a-nb t&v l^ojBev 3/)t(rra 

o-v<rrr]o-6.ix€vos ovtos ra piev bvvara 6p.6(pvXa KaTeo-Kevii<raTO' 
ra bi p.r) bvvara ovk aXXdfpvXd ye 5<ra be pjjbe tovto 
bvvarbs Tjv, aveulpLiKTos eyevero, na\ e£u>p[cra.To oo-a rovr' 
5 iXvatriXei irpdrTeiv. 

XL. "Ocroi tt)v bvvap.iv eV^ou rov rb Bappelv pi&Xiara 
eK T&v Sp.opovvTa)V napacrK€va(rao-6ai, ovtoi ko.1 ('fiCuxrav aAXrjXojv ijbicrTa to fiej3a.i6Ta.Tov irfcrrco/xa ^ovres, Kal 
Tr\r)peaT&Tr)v otKetorijTa airoXafiovTes oi)K (LbvpavTO &s irpbs 
10 ZXeov ttjv tov Tf\evrrj<ravTos TTpoKaTa<rrpo<priv. 

153 2 Tcov vojjLur8evrti>v dvai 8iKala>v seclusit Usener additamentum 
suspicans capiti sententiae destinatum 3 to tov F . tov tov HPQ 
Usener cvtxypov scrips] : fivm HP'Q: x®P av "»'*" BF ' t6 iv tov 
SlkoIov \a>pa Muehll : aln alia 4 voftov Usener : n&vav Lbn 
9 aXX* eir ra Usener : dWa 7rXetcrra llbri : a\\' Arrkas tic ra Kochalsky 

153 I Katvmv Aldobrandinus : xtvS>v hbn : koiv&v ZH 2 ivap~ 
ftiTTOvra Usener (cf. XXXVII. 8): ippiTTovra. hbn 4 Kaivwv 
Gassendi: toi tuv B: kcvuv HPQ 5 Si BHPQ: 81) F 

154 1 to fir)] t6 fifp Usener (in commentano) 2 o-vo-rr)o-dptvos] 
o-voTtiXtifuvos Usener (in commentario) 3 o<ra fit Usener : oo-a 
yt HPQ : oo-a FCo'Z 4 H-apiaaTo Stephanus : ((opio-aro H : ifr- 
pio-aro BFPQ • t'fripto-aro Usener: tgrjptCo-aTo Muehll tovt HPQ: 
tovto) B : toZ F : tovto>p Usener : tq£to Stephanus 5 AwrtriXci 


by law, that which is proved on examination to be of^tion under 
advantage in the requirements of men's dealings with one stances"" 
another, has the guarantee of justice, whether it is the 
same for all or not. But if a man makes a law and it does 
not turn out to lead to advantage in men's dealings with 
each other, then it no longer has the essential nature of 
justice. And even if the advantage in the matter of justice 
shifts from one side to the other, but for a while accords 
with the general concept, it is none the less just for that 
period in the eyes of those who do not confound them- 
selves with empty sounds but look to the actual facts. 

XXXVIII. Where, provided the circumstances have The same 
not been altered, actions which were considered just, have Ju ^" e " 
been shown not to accord with the general concept in sometimes 
actual practice, then they are not just. But where, when un J ust - 
circumstances have changed, the same actions which were 
sanctioned as just no longer lead to advantage, there 

they were just at the time when they were of advantage 
for the dealings of fellow-citizens with one another , but 
subsequently they are no longer just, when no longer of 

XXXIX. The man who has best ordered the element The ordering 
of disquiet arising from external circumstances has made ° f a *e J^ 86 
those things that he could akin to himself and the rest at 

least not alien : but with all to which he could not do even 
this, he has refrained from mixing, and has expelled from 
his life all which it was of advantage to treat thus. 

XL. As many as possess the power to procure com- The 
plete immunity from their neighbours, these also live most j?J^ u e *" y 
pleasantly with one another, since they have the most 
certain pledge of security, and after they have enjoyed the 
fullest intimacy, they do not lament the previous departure 
of a dead friend, as though he were to be pitied. 

HPQ • \vaiTeXfs B : Xuo-ir«\5 F Usener 6 toC to Meibom : roJ re 
BPitovFCoZ 7 oJtoiF: qvtu codd. cett. Usener 8 fjiitna 

to Usener : ij8iarov r&v B : rjiicrrov. P : ij&itTTOV Kal Q : rjotoTOV 

FHCoZ 9 Trpis flwo* B : np6s oi biov HP'Q : tktov F'Co'Z 




'YLiriicovpov Upo<r<pG)vr}<ris 

I. — Kvpiat Ao£ai I. 

II. = Kvpiai Adfai II. 

III. = KtJptat Ad"£ai IV. 

•IV. Ilaira aXyrjboiV evKa.ra(ppdvr)TOS' ft yap avvrovov 
lx°t>(ra to ttovovv o-vvropiov lx ft T ° v XP° vov i h 0f XP 0V ^' 
Qauaa trepi rrjv <r&pna a(3\T]Xpov %X €l T0V n6vov. 

V. = Kv'piat Ao'&u V. 

VI. = Ktipuu Arffat XXXV. 

VII. 'A8ixoSira Aa^ftv juev SiJcrKoAew, ttCotiv he XafHtiv 
vvkp tov XaOeiv ahvvarov. 

VIII = Kvpiat Ao'&u XV. 

IX. Ko/cdv ivdyKT], aAA.' oibep,(a StvdyKrj £r)v p.era av6.yKT)s. 

[X. Metrodorus. Me'/jwijo'o 5ti Ovtjtos tt>v tji <pvo-ti koI 
\af3cbv \p6vov wpurpAvov avifi-qs rois wept c^vtrecos SiaAo- 
yi<rp.ots £irt rT)v aveipCav koX tov al&va kcu Kareibes 
t& t' edvra t<H r* icradpLeva -np6 r idvra.] 

•XI. Twz> irkefoTOdv &v0pd7Ta>v to pev f/oi/xaGov vapKq, rd 
be Kivovp.evov \vrrq. 

XII. = Kv>at A^oi XVII. 

XIII. = KiSpuu Ao'£ai XXVII. 

XIV. Tey6va.iJ.ev &Tra£, bis be ovk icm, yeve"<r9ai' bet be 
rbv aXQtva /xjj k4t eTvai' <rv be ovk &iv ttjs avptov (wJpio?) 

Sigla : V -= Cod. Vaticanus Graecus 1950 

IV I avvrovov Uscncr : avvrofiov V IX I avdyiaj] (£nv iv) dvdyjen 
Hartel X I on] MfvioTpaTe 5/otj Clem. Alex. Av rfj </>u£T«] 

^>vt C. A. 2 Xa^i*] Xax&v Gomperz \p6vov\ fMov C. A. toJt 




' Epicurus' Exhortation ' 

IV. All bodily suffering is negligible : for that which 
causes acute pain has short duration, and that which 
endures long in the flesh causes but mild pain. 

VII. It is hard for an evil-doer to escape detection, but 
to obtain security for escaping is impossible. 

IX. Necessity is an evil, but there is no necessity to 
live under the control of necessity. 

[X. Remember that you are of mortal nature and have 
a limited time to live and have devoted yourself to discus- 
sions on nature for all time" and eternity and have seen 
' things that are now and are to come and have been '.] 

XI. For most men rest is stagnation and activity madness. 

XIV. We are born once and cannot be born twice, but 
for all time must be no more. But you, who are not 
(master) of to-morrow, postpone your happiness : life is 

. . . Koriibrs] t§ ifrvXS ' ac T bv ciwtra Kai tt/v antipiav ra>v irpttyftarai' 
Karflite Kal C. A. 4 ra r i6vra om. C. A. XIV 2 Kvfuos Om. 

V . supplendum ex Stobaeo 


AvafiaW]) to \alpov 6 ok (3(os peKKrjo-p.^ ■napaitoXXvrai icai 
tts eVaoroy fjp&v ao-x_o\ov'p.evos aTrodvrf&Kei. 

•XV. "Hdt] &a-jrep ra rjp&v ain&v f5ia Tijx&p.ev, &v re 
XP»J<rra i-xwpev ko\ inrb r&v d.v0pa>ir(ov Qr)\d>p(6a, &v re prj m 
ovroi xpr) (ra) rS>v ireKas, hv iirteitceis Shtiv. 

•XVI. Ovfieiy fiKi-nayv to kclkov alpetrat avr6, 6\X\a 5e\ea- 
<r£?eiy &>s ayadip irpbs to peiCov avrov nanbv ifhtpdjOrj. 

♦XVII. Ov vios /xaKapiards dWa yipcov /3e/3tcoKa>y #ca\e3y 
■6 yap vios (eV) &Kpfj irokvs vtto ttjs tvxv* erepo<ppov&v 
TTk&£eraf 6 oe yep<oi> KaOdirep iv Kip,ivi Ty yiypct Kadu>pp.iKfv 
Tot irporcpov hvtre\TiLcrTo-6peva tu>v ayaO&v acr<pa\eT Kara- 
5 K\e(<ras \dpiri. 

♦XVIII ' A(f)aipovp.4vr]s 7rpo(ro'i/recoy Kal 6p.tX.Cas Kal crvvava- 
OTpo<pfjy cKKijerat rd ipu>Tindv ndQos. 

•XIX ToC yeyovoros ap.injp.uiv dyadov yipatv rrjpepov 

XX = Kvpiai Ao'&u XXIX 

♦XXI Ov ftiacTTcov tt)V <pvaiv aXXa irela~riov ■ntiaop^Oa. 
3e rds (r) avaynaCas imOvp-tas iK7rX.rjpovvres rds re <f>vo-iKas 
av p.ri f3k&-nT(oa-i, rds oe /3\a/3epas TTtKpais i\4yxpvT€s. 

XXII. = Ktfpiai A6£ai XIX. 

♦XXIII. ITao-a (pikCa bi iavrrjv aiperrj- ap\r]v 6' ctAjj^ev 
and ttjs axpeAefay. 

♦XXIV 'JLvtiirvui ovk Aaxe <pvaiv Oflav ovbe pavriKT/v 
bvvap.iv, aWa yCvzTai Kara. ipirraxru) tlhd>Xuiv. 

•XXV. 'H TrevCa perpovpJvr] r<p Trjs (pvaeais re' p4yas 
io-rl ttKovtos' ttKovtos 8e pr) 6pi£6pevos peydkrj i<rn ttwCo. 

♦XXVI. Act btakafieiv 5rt koi 6 tto\vs Kdyos Kal 6 fipa\vs 
eis to avrb crvvTilvei re'A.oy. 

•XXVII. 'EttI fifo? tS>v b\XXo>v iTTiTT)bevp.dTa>v puoKis reA*«i)- 

3 to x a '/ JO, 'l TOV Kaip6v Stobaeus 4 Sia tovro Stobaeas 
XV 1 Tifia>n*v\ Tina>nei>a Wotke 2 ^i;Xa>/^cda Wllamowitz : f^Xou- 
fjxOa V : £t)\ovfitva Weil post nv Tf uij lacunam suspicatus est 
Wotke 3 xP7] XP^ 1 ^ Usener (ra) supplevit Weil &v 
trritattis Usener: caitnuiKms V XVI I /3\«'ir<B* Wotke : fikerrrtov 

V 2 ayaBS) V : dya£6v Usener n-pdr rA] irpooiv U saner : 

np6s tl Cronert avrov] &v roi Usener XVII 2 vios (tv) ditfi.jj 
scripsi : vios ax/xrj V : vios wcfirjv Cr&nert : tyros dx/irje Usener 
iroXif], iroXXa Hartel 5 x^f lT '\ X°-paxi H artel XIX I afivrtfitavX 
afttvjfiovav Wllamowitz aya&oii Hartel : aya$6s V rf/ptpov]. 

al6t)fupov coniecit Usener : rrjv tf>p6t>ijo-iv Gomperz XXI I nwr6- 


wasted in procrastination and each one of us dies without 
allowing himself leisure. 

XV. We value our characters as something peculiar to 
ourselves, whether they are good and we are esteemed 
by men, or not ; so ought we to value the characters of 
others, if they are well-disposed to us. 

XVI. No one when he sees evil deliberately chooses it, 
but is enticed by it as being good in comparison with 
a greater evil and so pursues it. 

XVII. It is not the young man who should be thought 
happy, but an old man who has lived a good life. For the 
young man at the height of his powers is unstable and is 
carried this way and that by fortune, like a headlong 
stream But the old man has come to anchor in old age as 
though in port, and the good things for which before he 
hardly hoped he has brought into safe harbourage in his 
grateful recollections. 

XVIII. Remove sight, association and contact, and the 
passion of love is at an end. 

XIX. Forgetting the good that has been he has become 
old this very day 

XXI. We must not violate nature, but obey her; and 
we shall obey her if we fulfil the necessary desires and 
also the physical, if they bring no harm to us, but sternly 
reject the harmful. 

XXIII. All friendship is desirable in itself, though it 
starts from the need of help 

XXIV. Dreams have no divine character nor any pro- 
phetic force, but they originate from the influx of images. 

XXV. Poverty, when measured by the natural purpose 
of life, is great wealth, but unlimited wealth is great 

XXVI. You must understand that whether the discourse 
be long or short it tends to the same end. 

XXVII. In all other occupations the fruit comes pain- 

/n*&»scripsi : mia-optv'V 2 rat ^t") Usencr: rot V XXI II I al- 
P*tt) Usener : aptrr) V XXV 2 tWl] eVIV XXVI 2 a-vimivti 
H artel . avvrivti V 


0ei(rw 6 Kapirbs fpxtrai, ivl be (pikoo-otpCas o-uin-p^^ei rrj yvdcrei 
t& repirvdv ov yap fierh fjAOtjcrw airdkavans, dXKa &pux p.d6tj- 
<rts Kal aWAatwris. 

♦XXVTII. Ovre tovs vpoxetpovs eis <pt\£av ovre roiis Suvrj- 
potis tioitijuurriov bei nai TrapaKivbvvcvcrai x&pw <pt\(as. 

•XXIX. Tlapprja-Cq yap lyoaye XP^M^ ? <f>v<rio\oy&v XPV~ 
tr[i.a>beiv to (rvp.<p4povTa Ttaarw dvOpdntots p.aXkov hv ftovkoCpir)v 
k&v /xi)5«is /A^AAp trwijo-fu;, rj crvyKaTaTid4fxcvo$ rats bd£axs 
KapTrovtrOai tov ttvkvov irapairtTtTovTa Trapa rmv ttoW&v 
5 ttratvov. 

[XXX. Metrodorus. ^ToipidCovTaC Tives bia (3lov to. vpos 
tov @(ov, ov trvvop&VTes (lis -nucriv fjp.LV 8avd<ripu>v iy<4\vrai 
t6 ttjs yevecreajs tpdppuiKov.] 

XXXI- Tlpb? fikv raXXa bvvarbv ao-<pdX.€iav tropCcrafrBai, 
\dpu> 8k OavaWov irdvres &vdpooiroi itd\u> dreCxicrTov olicovp&v. 

*XXXII. 'O tov <ro<f>ov o-e/3a(rfid? ayadbv piya t&v <re/3o- 
pUvoov i<rrC. 

XXXIII. Saptcbi qbajvri to per] ■treivfjf, to bixj/rjv, to p.rj 
piyovv. ravra yap iyjav ris nai iXmCutv $£av Kav (Au) imip 
evbaipovCas puz\4a-atTO. 

♦XXXIV. O^x o^T<as xp*l°- v ix.O(J.ev rfjs xpcCas wapa tS>v 
<pl\wv cos rfji wCerTecoi tt}s nepl rijs x^efay. 

*XXXV. Ov bet \vp\alvea-0ai ra napovTa t&v andvroiv 
iiridvpUq, aXX' iittkoylGetrdai 8ti Kal Tavra t&v evKrafov t}i>. 

[XXXVI. 'O 'EmwiJ/wv /3ior roif tG>v aWu>v crvyKpivdpievos 
Ivetcev ^p-epdrip-os teal avrapiceCas pivdos hv vopuarOclri.} 

♦XXXVII. 'Aa-deirqs fj tpvo-is itrri vpbs to KaKov, ov upbs 
to ayaOdv Tjbovals p.ev yap crw&Tai, a\yr}b6o-i be buikverat. 

♦XXXVIII MiKpb? ■navrd.TTaax.v, <J5 itoXXol alrCai ev\oyot 
elf i^ayatyrfv /3lov. 

♦XXXIX. Ovff 6 T7]v XP^ " tiriCwr&v 8ia iravrbs tplXos 
oiff 6 pmbiTroTe crvvairru>v b fikv yap KaTrriXeiei rfj x^P iTl 

XXVI r 3 fid&rjcrtv Wotke : pddrja-is V &pa Wotke : ptra V 
XXVIII 3 x^P lv X^P 1 " bis V XXIX I tj>v<riohoyS>v xpq&po&fu' 

Usener : tf>vcn6\oyS> xpr\trpS>. Afl V : <pva-io\6y<p xP r F r l ua & t ~ lv CrOnert 
XXXII I trefiatrpdt Usener: trePacrrdr V : trtpcurrbs (X«Jyos^ Blgnone 
dyaSiv fteya Usener : ayaSav fxtra V rSsu a-*{£o(iiva>v\ toi ae^apimf 
Usener XXXIII 2 k&* (Ad) Hartel : koI V XXXVIII I /«- 
Kp&s] oUrphc Usener 



fully after completion, but in philosophy pleasure goes 
hand in hand with knowledge ; for enjoyment does not 
follow comprehension, but comprehension and enjoyment 
are simultaneous. 

XXVIII. We must not approve either those who are 
always ready for friendship, or those who hang back, but 
for friendship's sake we must even run risks. 

XXIX. In investigating nature I would prefer to speak 
openly and like an oracle to give answers serviceable to 
all mankind, even though no one should understand me, 
rather than to conform to popular opinions and so win 
the praise freely scattered by the mob. 

[XXX. Some men throughout their lives gather together 
the means of life, for they do not see that the draught 
swallowed by all of us at birth is a draught of death.] 

XXXI. Against all else it is possible to provide security, 
but as against death all of us mortals alike dwell in an 
unfortified city. 

XXXII. The veneration of the wise man is a great 
blessing to those who venerate him. 

XXXIII. The flesh cries out to be saved from hunger, 
thirst and cold. For if a man possess this safety and 
hope to possess it, he might rival even Zeus in happiness. 

XXXIV. It is not so much our friends' help that helps 
us as the confidence of their help. 

XXXV. We should not spoil what we have by desiring 
what we have not, but remember that what we have too 
was the gift of fortune. 

[XXXVI. Epicurus' life when compared to other men's 
in respect of gentleness and self-sufficiency might be 
thought a mere legend.] 

XXXVII. Nature is weak towards evil, not towards 
good : because it is saved by pleasures, but destroyed by 

XXXVIII. He is a little man in all respects who has 
many good reasons for quitting life. 

XXXIX. He is no friend who is continually asking for 
help, nor he who never associates help with friendship. 


r$fv ifjLOt^v, & b$ AiTOKSirrct rty> nepl tov pttWovrot 

*XL. 'O \4ya>v •K&vra. hot av&yK-qv yCveo-dat oibiv iyKakciv 
#X ei t$ KiyovTi p.r) -navra kwt dvA.yKrjv yCveoSar avrd yap 
tovt6 <f>r)<ri nor av&yKrjv y(v*<rdai. 

*XLI. Te\av &p.a betv Kal (pt\oo-o<petv Kal oIkovohciv Kal 
tois \oiTTois olKeid>y.aari xprjcrdai Kal p.T)baujj \rjyetv rels Ik ttJs 
6pdfjs <piAocro<f>Cas (pcovas acpCevras. 

•XLII. 'O avros xP^vos Kai yev&rctos tov /xeyCcrrov ayaBov 
Kal airo\aijo-ea>s. 

*XLIII. <S>i\apyvp€iv &bi<a fikv ao-e/34s, bfcaia o£ alo-\p6v 
dnrpe-nis yap pvirapS>s cpeCbetrdai Kal p.(Ta tov biKaCov. 

•XLIV. 'O <ro<pbs ets rd AvayKaia a-vyKadels pM\Kov iirC- 
o-TOrai. p-erabibovai fj fj.eraXapl36.veiv ttjXlkovtov airrapKeCas 
cvpe 6r]<ra.vp6v. 

*XLV Ov Kopvnov oibe (pcmnjs ipyacrrtKovs oibe Tr)p irepi- 
pA\t)TOV -rrapd tois ttoWois vaibeCav ivbeiKwp.4vovs <pv<rio\oyCa 
TTapa<TK€V&£€i, &KKa aofiapovs Kal avrdpKets Kal iirl tois IbCois 
ayadots, ovk ivl tois t&v irpayfidrcav p.eya (ppovovvras. 

♦XLVI. Tas (pavKas <Tvvr)0eCas &erirep avbpas irowjpoirs 
ttoXvv xpdvov pAya fiXdtyavras re\eCo>s iKbn&K<tip.ev. 

[XL VII. Metrodorus. npoKarel\rjppaC o-e, S> riyjt], Kal 
ttaarav crr\v Trapdcrbvcriv tv4<ppa£a. Kal ovre (ro'i ovre aX\ff 
ovbefxCq -jiepHrr&o-ei buxropev eavroi/s iKbdrovs' aW' orair 
fjpas to XPeajf ££dyri, p4ya TTpoa-rrrvtravres rip £fjv koX tois 
5 avT<j> Kev&s -nep tirKaTTopivot s diripev ^k tov {rp> puera koKov 
irai&vos iTTMpaivovvres As rjp.iv /3€/3£corat.] 

*XLVIII. Tleipao-ffai tt)v vaTtpav rfjs irporepas Kpelrray 

iroieiv, ia>s hv iv 65$ copev iTTetbav b' iirl irtpas %Ada>, 

6pa\<is €V<ppa(ve<r$ai.. 

XL 3 post yivctrffai yiKtov ex yt\av ad mitium sententiae 
-sequentts addidit Usener XLI I yXap om. Usener . 

px\trav Cronert beiv Wotke Scov V : 9*1 Leopold 

2 Xfjytiv Usener : Xeyeii> V 3 ipffrfi Hartel : opytjs V 

XLII 2 oTroAawreair Usener : aTroXi'io-tcor V XLIII 2 (pddtaBai 

Wotke: <f>fiSt . . .V XLIV I a-vyKadttt Usener: a-vyKpi&iis 

V : <rvy»cAfftcr<tor Gomperz Mfrrarai Usener : napUrrarai V 

XLV i ^Mov^cj (ictvije) <f>a>vT)s Usener 3 o-o^apowe] a<f>6f3ave Usener : 
d&opvfiove Gomperz . ao-ofiapovs Leopold XLVI 2 p*y<* 

fS\d<ifravTas Hartel: fitra^i\ay\ravTat V: peyaKa ^Xen^aiTar Usener 
XLVIi 2 trrfv] (rfjv) <tt\v coniecit Usener 5 irtpiTrKarropi- 

vois] ntpiTrXtKOfifvoit Usener 6 nauivos Usener : n\ttovos V 



For the former barters kindly feeling for a practical return 
and the latter destroys the hope of good in the future, 

XL. The man who says that all things come to pass by 
necessity cannot criticize one who denies that all things 
come to pass by necessity : for he admits that this too 
happens of necessity. 

XLI. We must laugh and philosophize at the same time 
and do our household duties and employ our other facul- 
ties, and never cease proclaiming the sayings of the true 

XLII. The greatest blessing is created and enjoyed at 
the same moment. 

XLI 1 1. The love of money, if unjustly gained, is 
impious, and, if justly, shameful ; for it is unseemly to be 
merely parsimonious even with justice on one's side. 

XLIV. The wise man when he has accommodated him- 
self to straits knows better how to give than to receive : 
so great is the treasure of self-sufficiency which he has 

XLV. The study of nature does not make men produc- 
tive of boasting or bragging nor apt to display that culture 
which is the object of rivalry with the many, but high- 
spirited and self-sufficient, taking pride in the good things 
of their own minds and not of their circumstances. 

XLVI. Our bad habits, like evil men who have long 
done us great harm, let us utterly drive from us. 

XLVII. I have anticipated thee, Fortune, and en- 
trenched myself against all thy secret attacks. And we 
will not give ourselves up as captives to thee or to any 
other circumstance ; but when it is time for us to go, 
spitting contempt on life and on those who here vainly 
cling to it, we will leave life crying aloud in a glorious 
triumph-song that we have lived well. 

XLVIII. We must try to make the end of the journey 
better than the beginning, as long as we are journeying , 
but when we come to the end, we must be happy and 

XLVIII I Lortpav . . . irpOTtpat] vtrrtpaiav . . . wporepaias Usener 
2 iv iS8q> Wotke : iv t> 68y V : iv rrpo6&to Bignone : *V *£ofl<p Crdnert 

1BT» JJ 


XLIX. = KtSpwu Adfeu XII. 
L. Ktipuu. Aeifat VIIL 

•LI. TlvvOdvoptal trow tt}v koto. <rdpKa K.(wqo~u> dupdovc&repov 
biaKeitrdai vphs rrjv r&v h<ppobicrUov tvrev^iv. <rv be Srav 
fu/jre tovs v6p.ovs KaraXihjs prfre ra koXSs i&q KeCfieva Kivfjs 
jxrjTe t&v itkr^o-Cov Tiva kvirfis p-riTe tt)v tripxa Korafafc^jj 
5 nrfre ra dvayKaia KaTavakCo-Kys, \pai d>s /3oi/A« rfj o-eavrov 
Trpoaip4<rei. apufi\avov p.4vroi ye to p.r) oh\ kvL yi tivi tovtwv 
o~vviye<r6ai' duppobCaia yap oibijioTe &vr\o-ev' ayairr}Tbv be 
el p.r] Hfikayj/ev. 

*LII. *H (pikCa ireptyopevei ttjv oln.ovp.ivr]v Kr/pvTrova-a 8t) 
Ttaa-iv fip.iv iyeCpecrOai inl rbv pLaKapicr/xdv. 

*LIII. Oi>8ei>i Kpdovqreov aryaOoi yap ovk a£loi <p9d"vov, 
7Tovr\po\ be 5a-£j) av pJaWov evTvx&<rt, Toaovrui p.akkov avrols 

LIV. Ov TTpocnroieiaOai bet <piko(ro(f>eiv, akk' cirrous <pikocro- 
<pelv ov yap 7rpo(rbedpi€0a tov boKeiv vyialveiv, akka tov /car* 
akr/Oeiav vyialveiv. 

*LV. Oepa-nevreov ras avpxpopas rfj ra>v aisoXXvpAvuiv 
\apiri Kai t£> ya>u>o-Keiv 6Vi ovk ("otiv &-npaKTov Ttoirjo-ai to 

*LVI— LVTI 'AAyei p.ev 6 aocpbs oh yxikkov o-TpejBkovpxvos 
(a{ros rj op&v 0-rpefikovp.evov) tov <plkov ... 6 j3Cos avrov 
iras bi aiuorlav o-vyxy6r)a-tTai Kai avaKextuo'Tio-p.e'vos Iotcu. 

•LVIII. 'EkX.vt4ov eavTovs ii< tov -rrepX to eyKVKkux Kai 
TToXiTiKa be<Tp.(orr)pCov. 

*LIX. " ' A-rr\r)(TTOV ov yacrr-qp, a>o"7tep ot TrokkoC <pa_aa>, aXka 
bo£a i/fevS^s inrep tov yaorpbs aopio-Tov ■nkrjpvpiAt.Tos. 

LX. Tlas cacrvep &pri yeyavuis 2k tov £t)v dWpxerai. 

*LXI. KakkCo-Tr] ical 5^ tG>v ttkrjaiov <5tyis, rfjs irpoSr^s avy- 
yevelas 6p.ovoovo~ijs, rj Trokkrjv eZs tovto iroiovp.e'vr) o-Trcrvbr)v. 

LI I a<p&ov<Z>T€j>ov Usener- atfi6ovo' , 'V 2 a<Ppoii(ricov Usener • 
a<f>poHl<Tinv V orav Usener : o« V 3 kot-oAvj/c Wotke : KtrraXvus 
V idr) Hartel t6ti V 4 Trkija-Lov Wotke : ttXtjo-iW V 5 Karapa- 
\ia-KflS Wotke : KaTavaKLtrnttf V s • KarayiyvixiKut V 1 6 rb 

Usener: tS> V LI I 1 17 <f>i\Ui] q <f>i\oo-o<tUa Hartel: 'HXtW 

cr<f>a'ipa coniecit Usener 2 /xanapurfuiv] fxanapiov f3iov Wei{ 

LI 1 1 2 (vtvxoxti Wotke. ivTVxSxri V avrois Wotke : airrols V 

LV 3 ytyov6s Usener: yevos V LVI-LVII ut unam bcnten- 

tiatn lacunosam habet V : separavit Wotke 1 <rrpfffKovfuyog t&v 
<pi\ov] air6s ^ 6pS>v <TTp*f}\ovpxvov supplevit Usener: <rrpt^\ovpivov 


LL You tell me that the stimulus of the flesh makes you 
too prone to the pleasures of love. Provided that you do 
not break the laws or good customs and do not distress 
any of your neighbours or do harm to your body or 
squander your pittance, you may indulge your inclination 
as you please. Yet it is impossible not to come up against 
one or other of these barriers : for the pleasures of love 
never profited a man and he is lucky if they do him no 

LII. Friendship goes dancing round the world proclaim-^ 
ing to us all to awake to the praises of a happy life. 

LIII. We must envy no one: for the good do not 
deserve envy and the bad, the more they prosper, the 
more they injure themselves. 

LIV. We must not pretend to study philosophy, but 
study it in reality : for it is not the appearance of health 
that we need, but real health. 

LV. We must heal our misfortunes by the grateful 
recollection of what has been and by the recognition that 
it is impossible to make undone what has been done. 

L.VI— LVII. The wise man is not more pained when 
being tortured (himself, than when seeing) his friend (tor- 
tured) : (but if his friend does him wrong), his whole life 
will be confounded by distrust and completely upset. 

LVIII. We must release ourselves from the prison of 
affairs and politics. 

LIX. It is not the stomach that is insatiable, as is 
generally said, but the false opinion that the stomach needs 
an unlimited amount to fill it. 

LX. Every man passes out of life as though he had just 
been born. 

LXI. Most beautiful too is the sight of those near and 
dear to us, when our original kinship makes us of one 
mind ; for such sight is a great incitement to this end. 

toC <f>l\pv (ex cod. pal. gr. Held. 129) («ai vrrip airrov rfffv^trai' *l 
yap npofjcFtrai) t6v <f>i\ov Bignone : post rbv <f>t\ov fortasse supplen- 
dum ft fie a&iKrjtrti avri>v 6 (pCKos LVIII 2 dfo-fiarrriptov Usener : 
ita-fitarripia V LIX 2 (ttjs) yatrrpbs supplevit Usener 

LXI I nKrjiriov Wotke ■ irKrjaiatv V 3r/ns] crvva^it comecit 

Usener 2 fj scnpsi : r) firvel *1V : fj Weil rai Hartel : 
Bignone iraiovpxvT)] noiovptvqs Usener 

H 2 


♦LXII. E2 yhp Kara rb b4ov 6pyal yfyvovrai rois yewijtrao-i 
irpbs to iicyova, fiirawv bfyrovtie'v e<m rb djsTireCveiv Kal fj.ii 
TrapaiTticrOai. ovyyvt&firis rv\elv el be pd) Kara rb biov aXXet 
aXoysSrepov, yeKoiov iraw rd irpoaeKKaUiv rffv akoyCav Ovfio- 
5 Karoyovvra, ical fir) Cv Te ? v Heradeivai nar aKXovs rpoVous 

♦LXIII. "Eirri Kal Airortjri p.ed6pios, ijs 6 aveiri\6yitrros 
■napaitK-qcrviv rt irda^ei 8t' &opio~r(av iKirC-jtroirri. 

*LXIV. 'AxoXovdelv bei rbv irapa tS>v &Wiov tnaivov 
avrdfxaTov, rjfias he yevicrBai Trepi rr)v rm&v laTpeCav. 

*LXV, Mdratov icrri irapa Oeatv alreicrffai a ris kavrip \opr)- 
yrjo-ai lnav6s icm. 

*LXVI. Su/jt— a6(Ly.(v rots <J>£\ois oti dpr)vovvres akka. 

•LXVII. 'KKevdepos /3ios ov bvvarat KTrjcracrdai yjrijpMra. 
troWa bia ro ro irpayp,a (jir]} pabiov eTvai \cnpls SrjreCas fyktov 
rj bvvao-T&v, akka (<rvv) avvexei bayj/ukeCq ■ndma tc^KrTjraf &v 
be" 7rov Kal rv)(rj -j^pr\p\ar<nv ttoW&v, /cat ravra pqb(<as av els 
5 rrfv tov irXtjcriov evpoiav Stayuer/wjcrai. 

•LXVIII Ov8ei< iicavbv y dkiyov ro inavov. 

♦LXIX. To Ti)S axdpLrrrov klxvov inoCrio-e ro C^ov 

el? iireipov t&v £v biaCrr) ■7roiKtA.p.dra)i>. 

LXX. Mr}8e'i> o-oi Iv /3ia> irpaxdeCrj b cpofiav izapi£ei. croi, el 
yvuicrdria-eTai t& -nkrjcrCov. 

♦LXXI. TIpds Tidaas tcls iiriOvp.(as irpoa-aKriov rd iirepri- 
Trjfia rovro* ri p.oi yevrjtrerai av T(keo-0f) rb Kara rijv i-nidv- 
y.lav i7ti0]Tovfj.evov, Kal rl iav /xij Te\e<r6fj ; 

LXXII. = KJptat, A6£<u XIII 

•LXXIII. Kal to yeyeirijcrdal rwas akyr)b6i>as irepl cr&fxa 
kvcrirekel Trpbs (pvkaK7)v t5>v d/xpeibiov. 

*LXXIV. *Ev <f>iXo\.6ytf <rv£r)Tif)<Tei 7r\eiov rjvvcrev & fjTrr)deCs, 
Kad* t Trpo<r4ixa0ev. 

LXII 2 Stcyova Wotke : lyyova V 4 iravv Weil : rrav V : rravrat 
Muebll : myav Usener irpoatKitaitiv Weil : TrpAc %KKKr\oi.v V : rrpie 
tiacXurtv Usener : n-pAv Zkkovo-iv Gomperz post akoyiav Usener 

ayov inseruit Sv/utKaroxovvra Cri5nert : fivfuoKaroxovvra V ; 6v/up 
Karaax&vra Usener : 6vp.if Karixovra Weil 6 tvyvafiovovvra 

Crdnert : tvyv<apovovvrat V LXIII I \tr6rqri p.t66ptos Usener: 

XtirrinjTi KaSdpioe'V i \tnr6TrfTi Ka0apt6rrje Muehll . LXVII I eX*u- 
Stpos] cXrvdcpioc coniecit Usener tcrfja-aa-Bai xPVt JLa ' ra Hartel : xprjva- 


JLXII. Now if parents are justly angry with their 
children, it is certainly useless to fight against it and not 
to ask for pardon ; bu.t if their anger is unjust and irra- 
tional, it is quite ridiculous to add fuel to their irrational 
passion by nursing one's own indignation, and not to 
attempt to turn aside their wrath in other ways by 

LXIII. Frugality too has a limit, and the man who dis- 
regards it is in like case with him who errs through excess. 

LXIV. Praise from others must come unasked : we 
must concern ourselves with the healing of our own lives. 

LXV. It is vain to ask of the gods what a man is capable 
of supplying for himself. 

LXVL Let us show our feeling for our lost friends not 
by lamentation but by meditation. 

LXVU. A free life cannot acquire many possessions, 
because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or 
monarchs, yet it possesses all things in unfailing abun- 
dance ; and if by chance it obtains many possessions, it is 
easy to distribute them so as to win the gratitude of 

LXVIII. Nothing is sufficient for him to whom what is 
sufficient seems little. 

LXIX. The ungrateful greed of the soul makes the 
creature everlastingly desire varieties of dainty food. 

LXX. Let nothing be done in your life, which will cause 
you fear if it becomes known to your neighbour. 

LXX I. Every desire must be confronted with this 
question : what will happen to me, if the object of my desire 
is accomplished and what if it is not ? 

LXXIII. The occurrence of certain bodily pains assists 
us in guarding against others like them. 

LXXIV. In a philosophical discussion he who is worsted 
gains more in proportion as he learns more. 

o-8<u Krrjfxara V 2 (pi}) SUpplevit Usener 6r\Tttas Hartel : drjktiar 

V 3 (crvv) supplevit Usener- (Jv) Hartel ndvra] irdv(jra t& 
fTvfuf}fpov)ra coniecit Bignone 5 diafurpTja-ai Wotke : 0ia/«rp)}<r<H 

V LXVIII 1 TA]numoi5x? LXIX I A/^V: Xf'xrov V 1 
LXX 1 f}iq>] (™>) /9t'<p coniecit Usener LXXIII 1 y*ytpfjcr6ai 
Wotke : ytvf(T0ai (sic) V 


*LXXV. Efs ret irap<^Kf]\vra Ayadb. &x6.pwrros <£wi) rj 
\iyova-a " Tikos 6pa juaicpov fi(ov ". 

•LXXVI. Toiovros e? yrjpdcricaw 07roToi> fya) 7rapaii><£, Ktti 
tiiyvioKas irndiov ion rb tavrip (pikoirocp^crai nal otov rb rfj 
*EWiBi* crvyxaCpoi <roi. 

♦LXXVII. Tijs avrapKfCas Kapirbs fiiyi<rros tkev&epla. 

•LXXVIII. l O yevvaios trepl aocplav ital (piXlav pwiXicrrA 
ylyverav 3>v rb pJv tori Bvrjrbv &ya66v, to 5' aOdvarov. 

*LXXIX. 'O &rdpaxos kavrip kcli kripcp &6xX.rjros. 

*LXXX. "Ecrnu i7p<orrj <ra}i~npias pwipa tt}s TjKiiclas Tqpr]<rts 
nal (pvKaKi) t&v irdvra \xokvv6vr<av Kara ros firi0vp.ias ras 

•LXXXI, Ov T7]v T7}s ^v^ijs rapayrfv ovbk ttjv Afio- 

koyov &Troyevva ^apav oiJre irXoOros vtr6.p\u>v 6 fiiyiarTot 
ovd' fj irapa rois TroAAoIy Tip.ii kcu irepCpke-^ris ovt aXXo tl 
t<Zv irapa ras &biopCcrTovs alrCas. 

LXXVI I roiovTot] {on) roiovTor Usener napaii>S> Wotke , 
mpaivu V 2 8ityva>Kai Usener : Sij iyvuKat V ro post olov Hartel : 
to V LXXVIII 2 e^riv Hartel • vojjrbvV LXXX I ?<rr»i/ 
irpun; Hartel : ytwaltf Muehll : P(vel r) . . <o V LXXXI i ov8c 
tt)v\ avbi tiv Usener 4 abiopicrrovs Usener : afvpl alrovs V 



LXXV. Ungrateful towards the blessings of the past 
is the saying, ' Wait till the end of a long life \ 

LXXVI. You are in your old age just such as I urge 
you to be, and you have seen the difference between 
studying philosophy for oneself and proclaiming it to 
Greece at large : I rejoice with you. 

LXXVII. The greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is 

LXXVIII. The noble soul occupies itself with wisdom 
and friendship : of these the one is a mortal good, the other 

LXXIX. The man who is serene causes no disturbance 
to himself or to another. 

LXXX. The first measure of security is to watch over 
one's youth and to guard against what makes havoc of all 
by means of pestering desires. 

LXXXI. The disturbance of the soul cannot be ended 
nor true joy created either by the possession of the greatest 
wealth or by honour and respect in the eyes of the mob 
or by anything else that is associated with causes of 
unlimited desire. 



I. II epl Alpecrecov KcCi ^vycov. 

I. *H pev yap arapa^Ca kcu airovCa KaTaonjpuiTiKaC eto-iv' 
ffboval' fj be \apa Kal fj eicppoorivr} Kara idvrj<Tiv evepyetq 

II. Atcnroptat. 

a. Tlpa£ft Tiva 6 trotpbs &v ol ydpot hrnayopevovariv, flbws 
6ti hrjo-et ; ovk evohov to air\ovv icrrt Karqydprjua. 

ill. Mt/cpa 'Ei-rrtTO/Jbrf. 

3. MavriKr) ovtra avvnapKros , el Kal vjrapKrrj, ovbkv irap' 
rjfjLas fiyr/rda ra yi.v6p.eva. 

iv. Hpo? &e6(ppa(TTov. 

4. 'AAAa Kal \copls tovtov tov pipovs ovk oiba bnais bet ra 
iv (TKdrei ravra Svra (pfj<rai y^piLpara iyeiv. 


5. Polyaenus. Oi <pr)s elvai, £> 'EirlKovpe, ras vtto tov 
olvov biadeppacrCas ; {yire'\aj3e' ns) ov rb Kad6\ov deppavTinbv 
airotpaCveo-Bai tov dtvov etvai. (#cai p*ra crpiKpdv) <pa(verai 
piev yap to Ka96\ov ovk elvai 9cpp.avriKbs 6 otvos. rovbe 5V 

fi tivos 6 too-ovtos elvai 0epp.avri.Kbs av prjdeb). 

6. Alb brf KaQdkav piv ov p-qrlov rbv olvov elvai 0eppavTi*6v, 
Trjs be Toiavrrjs (pTucretas Kal rfjs ovtu> biaKeip^vrjs &epp.avriKbv 
tov Toa-ovrov, rj Trjabe rbv too-ovtov elvai i/ai/eriKdV. iveiari 

1 Dipg. Laert. x, § 136 1 post Kat Usener 17 inseruit 2 ivtpytiq\ 
ivapyt'nf H. Ritter a Plut. adv. Col. 34, p. 1127 a 3 Diog. 

Laert. X, § 135 I trap' fjpae] irpir f/pat Meibom : napiji rb Tap'} 4m<« 
Bignone 4 Plut. adv. Col. 7, p. ir 10 c 5 Plut. adv. Cot. 6, 





I. Concerning Choice and Avoidance. 

1 . Freedom from trouble in the mind and from pain in 
the body are static pleasures, but joy and exultation are 
considered as active pleasures involving motion. 

II. Problems. 

2. Will the wise man do things that the laws forbid, 
knowing that he will not be found out ? A simple answer . 
is not easy to find. 

ill. The Shorter Summary. 

3. Prophecy does not exist, and even if it did exist, 
things that come to pass must be counted nothing to us. 

IV. Against Theophrastus. 

4. But even apart from this argument I do not know 
how one should say that things in the dark have colour. 

v. Symposium. 

5. Polyaenus : Do you, Epicurus, deny the existence of 
the warmth produced by wine? (Some one interrupted :) 
It does not appear that wine is unconditionally productive 
of heat. 

(And a little later :) It seems that wine is not uncon- 
ditionally productive of heat, but wine of a certain quantity 
might be said to produce heat in a certain body. 

6. Therefore we must not speak of wine as uncondition- 
ally productive of heat, but rather say that a certain 
quantity of wine will produce heat in a certain body which 
is in a certain disposition, or that a different quantity 

p. IIOQe 2 &ircXa0e Tit] inrt\afit " rlr . . Usener 3 arro<pal- 

vtcrBai] arrcxpatrerat Usener 


yap roiavrai iv r<f adpoCcr/JLari (fi-ucreis^ i£ &v ai> ^rvyjibv 
5 (rvfrraCrj, el, bfov ye, ertpais irapaCvye'io-ai \frvxpacrCas tyucriv 
&TroTe\4creiav 80ev i£arraTa>p.evoi. oi p.ev y\rvKTi.Kbv to Ka66Xov 
tf>ao-li> etvai rov otvov, oi be 6epp.avn.Kov. 

7. FIoAAtixi? ovb' tfXdev els to o-(op.a 6epp,avrLKr]V iiri<p4pa>v 
rj ^frvKTinrffv dvvap.iv 6 olvos, aXXa KivrjBe'vTOS rov Synov koX 
yevopUvqs ra>v o-u>p.6ra>v /xerao-r cicretos al Trotovtrat to Oeppibv 
6rofxoi vvv piev o~ovrjX0ov els ravrb Kal itapio-\ov v-jrb irXrjQovs 

5 0epp.drrjTa Kal irvpuicrtv t5 a-co/jtan, vvv 8* iKireo-ovo-ai 

8. SvvovcrCr] &vq<re fxev oibi-nore, ayairrfrbv 3' el n») 

9. &avfjLaarbv 877, el <rv fief oibev i£e£pyov bia. rrjv rjXtKlav, 
Sis abrbs av ^njcrais, t5>v Kara ceavrbv airAvrinv vt'os &>v 
trpecrfivT&v hvbpGtv Kal ivb6£u>v ttoXv iv rfj prjToptxfj bvv&fiti 
iirep^xeiv . . . 6avp.acrrbv brj (prjp.i, el crv fxev ovbev i£e(pyov 

£ 5ta TtjV f/XiKtav iv rfj prfTopiKjj bvvdp,ei. Trpoe\ei.v, o boKel 
t/h/8jjs elvai Kal o-vvrjdeCas TToXXyjs, rov be Oeoopfjcrat ra itpay- 
fxara, ws fyei, bia ttji> fjXiKCav loriv i£elpyecr0ai, ov fjaXXov 
av bo£ai iirio-n'}p.r] alrCa elvai rj-nep rpi/3rj Kal o~vvr]deta. 

VI. Tlepl Tekovg. 

10. Oi yap iycoye T ^ vorjo-a> rayaOov, a.<paipS>v yiev ras 
bia xuAcor f/bovds, a<paipG>v be ras bi' &<ppobLa[a>v, atpaipaiv be 
ros bi aKpoap-drtov, a<paip5>v he Kal ras bia fjiop<prjs Kar' o\}nv 
■f/beCas Ktirjcreis. 

xi. Tb yap evcrrades crapftds Kardcmj/xa kcu to tcep\ to6tt\s 
•trio-rbv (Xirio-ua tt)i> b\Kpori.rr\v yapav Ka\ fiefSauyr6.-n)v (x tl 
tois i-niXoyCCecrdai bvvapJvois. 

12. Ti/xrjr^ov to KaXbv koI ras operas Kal ra rotovroWpoita, 
ihv fjbovfiv* Trapao-Kev&Qr)' lav be fj.rj irapao'KeviQl' X a ^P €l,v 

5 tl, tiov yt,] sic interpunxi : *ts biov rt Wyttenbach : tl (cJr) iiov 
yt Bignone : fj al yt Usener 7 Plut. adv. Col. 6, p. 11 10 a 
6 Diog. Laert. x, § 118 q.v. 9 Phiiodem. irtp\ pryrop. vtropx. ii, coL x 
(Sudhaus Voll. Rhet. i. 102) 1 Sij otn. pap. 2 &t Sudhaus : rr 
pap. : Srt Gomperz 7 oi Sudhaus : oi pap. 10 Athen. xii 
546 e (cf. Diog. Laert. x, § 6^) 1 2\a> rt vo^a-u Diog. Laert. : 
vorjrrai Athen. 3' tor Sijrtv f)Sttas Ktvrjfrtic otn. Diog. Laert. 

xi Plut. cotttr. Ep. beat. 4, p. 1089 d la Athen. xii. 546 f 



will produce cold in a different body. For in the compound 
body of wine there are certain particles out of which cold 
might be produced, if, as need arises, united with different 
particles they could form a structure which would cause 
cold. So that those are deceived who say that wine is 
unconditionally heating or cooling. 

7. Wine often enters the body without exerting any 
power either of heating or of cooling, but when the struc- 
ture is disturbed and an atomic re-arrangement takes 
place, the atoms which create heat at one time come 
together and by their number give heat and inflammation 
to the body, at another they retire and so cool it. 

8. Sexual intercourse has never done a man good, and 
he is lucky if it has not harmed him. 

9. It is strange indeed that you were not at all impeded 
by your youth, as you would say yourself, from attaining, 
young as you were, a distinction in the art of rhetoric far 
above all your contemporaries, even the experienced and 
famous. It is strange indeed, I say, that you were not at 
all impeded by your youth from winning distinction in the 
art of rhetoric, which seems to require much practice and 
habituation, whereas youth can be an impediment to the 
understanding of the true nature of the world, towards 
Which knowledge might seem to contribute more than 
practice and habituation. 

VI. On the end of Life. 

10. I know not how I can conceive the good, if I with- 
draw the pleasures of taste, and withdraw the pleasures of 
love, and withdraw the pleasures of hearing, and withdraw 
the pleasurable emotions caused to sight by beautiful 

n. The stable condition of well-being in the body and 
the sure hope of its continuance holds the fullest and 
surest joy for those who can rightly calculate it. 

1 a. Beauty and virtue and the like are to be honoured, 
if they give pleasure ; but if they do not give pleasure, we 
must bid them farewell. 


vii. Tlepi &vo-ea>9. 
Lib. I. 

13. 'H t£>v SKoiv tpvais trdp^vri iari koI Ktvdv. 

14. 'H tu>v Svraiv <pv<rts crtip-ard iart koI t6ttos. 

Lib. XI. 

15. El yap Tb p.tyc6os bia rb bi&crrrjpM a7refif/3\ijicei, voWip 
piaXXov hv ttjv \p6av aWo yap tovt<j> a-vp.p.(Tp6rcpov bia- 
<rrr]p.a ovBiv iari, 


16. "Krop6v i<m <r£ipa crrepfbv ap{TO\ov Kevov -naptp.- 
■nkoKrjs' kzv6v icrri <pv<ris dvatpijs. 

if. 'AAA' Xroxrav f?X f Y°-P ^^eii/os oibtvcov ttjv &nb rod 
<rr6fj,aros Kav\T)crar tt)v <ro<pi<rriKriv, Kadaitfp koX &Wol iroAAoi 
t&v avbpaTidbcov. 



18. *0 \i~\av 8[iai/oc3i>]Tai, Trepi[y]ivovT{ai] t&[v] Kara r^v 
[%]i>beiav ko[i] Trc\yC\av KaK&v. 

19. Ktiv ir6>i[e]p[os iji], beivbv ovk a[v] Oitrdai Otu>n etXf[&w 
3v}ra)V. KaOapav t[t)v favv] btrjx^vat <a[l bta]£eu> crvv avr[&>i] 

M&TpWVt df[{bv et]k€a>V SvTdiV. 

20. Adye 817 pat, Tlokvaw, ol<t0' &nep 7)p,iv p.ey&\r} \apa 
yeyivr]Tai ; 

Upog tov? ev Mvt lKtjvt} <ptko<r6<pov^. 

21. Tavra rjyayev airrbv els #<ccrra<rii> rovwrryv, axrrt p.ot 
\oibopeia-0ai Kai airoKaXelv btbatrnaXov. 

x» Sext.Emp. adv. Dogm iii.333 14 Plut.Ww. Col. 11. p.llI2e 
15 Schot. adEp. ad Pyth. (Diog. Laert. x, § 91) 1 dn-*/Scj3\ijK«t edd. : 
airo&tffkr}** 1 llb " 2 axXo («XX» B)] dXV ov Usener 16 Schol. 
ad Dionys. TTtr. p. 66o, 25 Bekk. 17 Dioj*. Laert. x, § 7 

r dXX' Irtaa-av Usener : dXX' tlrwt dW BP'Q : alii Iibri aha : dXX t" 
Tit 3XXot Stephanus f*x< yap ttctivot Usener : tlx* ybp k*Tvos libri : 
tlx* Kcuuivot Stephanus 18 Philodem. de Dtvttiis, VH* hi. 85 : 
restituit Gomperz a kok&v Gomperz : xat&f . »■ apogT. ig Philo- 
dem. n-cpi fur. VIP ii. 107 : restituit Gomperz 1 &v diadai Usener : 



vii. On Nature. 
Book I. 

13. The nature of the universe consists of bodies and 

14. The nature of all existing things is bodies and 

Book XI 

15. For if it (sc. the sun) had lost its size through the 
distance, much more would it have lost its colour : for 
there is no other distance better adapted for such loss than 
that of the sun. 


1 6. The atom is a hard body free from any admixture 
of void ; the void is intangible existence. 

17. Away with them all: for he (Nausiphanes), like 
many another slave, was in travail with that wordy brag- 
gart, sophistic. 



18. If they have this in mind, they are victorious over 
the evils of want and poverty 

19. Even if war comes, he would not count it terrible, 
if the gods are propitious. He has led and will lead a 
pure life in Matro's company, by favour of the gods. 

ao. Tell me, Polyaenus, do you know what has been 
a great joy to us ? 

To the philosophers in Mytilene. 

21. This drove him to such a state of fury that he 
abused me and ironically called me master. 

a8ta-8ai apogr. : itrtcrBai Gomperz ao Theo Progymn. 2, t 1, 
p. 169 Wall, oTcrB' Srrtp rjulv Cronert : (rvv(nrtpift'v libri . itrriv A 

irpiv pin Usener a ytytyrp-ai Cronert : ykw/rai libri 31 Diog. 
Laert. x, § 8 3 dtdao-jcaXov] 8v<tko\ov proposuit Usener : {jjlov 

iavriv) adiecit Kochalsky 


3 3. OT/xai 8' tycaye robs fiapv<rr6vovs Kal \uiBr\rr\v pie od£<a> 
tov TrX.eujj.ovos ztvat, pvera /jteipafckov tw&v Kpanrak&VTonv 

Kai yap TToirqpbs avOpt&nos tfv Ka\ eVirerrjoevKaJS roiaura l( 
5 &v oi bvvarbv eJs <ro<p(av i\8elv. 


23. 'Eyw 6' i<f> fjbovas «ni vex* ts TrapaKakv «ai ovk «V 
dpfTas sends Kai paraCas *ai TapaxwSeis exouo-as r&v KapTrwi; 
to? l\Tt(bas. 

24. MaKapCCw ere, S> \A7reAAT7, Sri Ka&apd<> 7rdaT7s alrcCas eVi 
<f>i\o(ro(pCav &pfir)crai. 

35. OTds re efyxi, eai> pirf ipieis irpds /*e d(|>£ia;cr#e, av- 
ros rpucuAia-ros, Sttoli av ip.€iy Kai ©e'/xioTa 7rapaica^7}re, 

Ilyob? '\hofxevea. 

36 ITe'/ J nre ow d-n-ap^ds ei? rrjv tov iepov o-<6p.aros 

depaireCav VTrip re avrov Kal rtKvtov ovtw ydp p.01 Ae'yeiv 

27 irdi'Ta rdjid KiiUj/xara rep^d yo/xferas i>e"ou. 

28 Ei fiovKei ttKovctiov YIvQok\£ol 77-01770-01, /j,ij xP r tl J -^ TU>v 
■npoorCdti, rijs 8e iiridvp-ias aepaCpei. 

29 'E^TjX.oii<rafAey ttji; avrdpKeiai' o-ux fortes tois evreAeVi 
Kai AiroTs TrdiTcos xpwpiefla, dXA.' otto)? 6app£>p.ev irpbs avrd. 

30. Ttjv fxaicapCav ayovres Kal apia reXeuraiirres fjuipav tov 
ftCov iyp&(f>onfV ip.iv rauTt" crrpayyoupiKd re ■jrap7jicoX.ou'0ei 
/cat Svrren-epiitd 7rd07i inrcpfioKiiv ovk dwoAefoovra roC eV 

as Sext. Emp. adv. Math 1.3 4 &v9pamos Usener : AvOpamat 
edd. 33 Pint. a*fe>. Co/. 17, p. 11 17 a 34 Athen. xni, p. 588 a 
(cf. Plut. ftw/r. beat. 12, p. 1094 d) 1 S> 'AwtXXfj ex Plut. sup- 
plevjt Usener & ovtos Iibn ainias Bijrnone : air'uts Iibri : iratStlar 
Wachsmuth 35 Diog. Laert. x, § 5 3 on-ou] 5rro« Cobet 


a a. 1 suppose that those grumblers will believe me to be 
a disciple of The Mollusc and to have listened to his 
teaching in company with a few bibulous youths. For 
indeed the fellow was a bad man and his habits such as 
could never lead to wisdom. 


To Anaxarchus. 

23. But I summon you to continuous pleasures and not 
to vain and empty virtues which have but disturbing hopes 
of results. 

To Apelles. 

24. I congratulate you, Apelles, in that you have ap- 
proached philosophy free from all contamination. 

To Themista. 

25. If you two don't come to me, I am capable of arriv- 
ing with a hop, skip, and jump, wherever you and Themista 
summon me. 

To Idomeneus. 

26. Send us therefore offerings for the sustenance of 
our holy body on behalf of yourself and your children . 
this js how it occurs to me to put it. 

27. O thou who hast from thy youth regarded all my 
promptings as sweet. 

28. If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not give him 
more money, but diminish his desire. 

29. We think highly of frugality not that we may always 
keep to a cheap and simple diet, but that we may be free 
from desire regarding it. 

30 On this truly happy day of my life, as I am at the 
point of death, I write this to you. The disease in my 
bladder and stomach are pursuing their course, lacking 
nothing of their natural severity : but against all this is the 

a6 Plut. adv Col. 18, p. 1 1 17 d 37 Theo Progymn. 2, t. I, 

p 169 Walz. a8 Stobaeus Flonl. XVII 24 I xprmarwv VAB 1 
XPVtfaTa B 2 : xpTjfuuTi Meineke 39 Stob. Flonl. xvn. 14 

3 navrat B : iravrav AV 30 DlOg. Laert. X, § 22 I Tf \nrra>»T«i] 
TfXtvraLav Davis ex Cic. de Fin. 11. 30. 96 2 ■napi\K.o\ovdu 

Stephanus : iraprjKo\ov6rjK(i libri 


iavroii fxeyiBovs' iumrraperirrero be vacri jrovrois ro Kara. 
5 yfrv\riv \aipop inl rjj r&v yeyovdratv ^Iv btakoyiafx&v fiinjup. 
&v be &££u>s ttjs e/c fieipaK(ov Trapa<rrd<Tea>s irpbs ifjie xal 
<f>ikr>(To<pCav lTTifj.e\ov t&v TraCbwv MrjTpobupov. 

Tlpog K.a)\.a>T7)v. 

31. "I2ff <> ydp <roi to rare v<f>' f)pcZv keyofjicva 
Ttpo<riiTt(T€v lTTi6vfjLT)iML a<pvcru)\6yr)TOv tov TrepnrKaKrjvai 
yov&rwv e'cpaTrrdp.evov Kal Trdcrrjs rrjs elOia-fiivrii iittK^^eois 
yfaecrdai koto, rhs a-e/3do-eis tiv&v nal AtrdV iimCeis ovv nal 
5 rjfias dvOiepovv ere ovtov Kal avTicrifiecrdai. 

" A<p0apr6s p.01 irepnrdTei Kal rjfjJas d(p0dprovs biavoov. 

IIpo? Aeovrtov. 

32 Ylaiav &va£, <f>C\ov Aeovrdpiov, olov KpoTo0opv[iov fipJas 
ivi-n\r)cr<xs dvayvdvTas tov to iiTLCTTokiov. 

Tip os TlvOoKkea. 

33. TlaibeCap be Tracrav, p.a.Kapie, (pevye tclkcltiov &pdp.evos. 
34^ Ka0ebovp:ai -npoa-hoKSiv tt)v ifxepTjjv koX Icr60e6v <rov 

Ad puerutn aut puellam. 

35. ' A]<peCyp.e6a els Ad/xxj/aKov vyiaCvovres iyco Kal Tlv0OK\ijs 
ko,[1 "Ep/x]apx°s tai K.[Ttj]a-Linros, Kal inel icarf i\t}<papL€v iy[i\aC- 
vovras Qep-Carrav Kal rovs Kouttovs [tpC]\o[v]s. ev be 7roi«[f]s 
Kal av e[l i]yi,a[veis Kai rj p^jxfxr] [(t]ov, Kai irdirai Kal 
5 MdTpw[v]i ndvTa 7re[£]t97;[i, &rrit\ep Kal e\jj.\npo<r0ev. ev yap 
l(T0i, fj alrCa, 5tl Kai iya> Kal o[l] Aonroi TraWes (re p.e"ya 
(piXovfjiev, Sti tovtois TreC0T] irdvra. 

7 (pikoo-oxp'uw f • <f>t\o(To(pias libri 31 Plut. adv. Col.ij, p. 1117b 
2 tou Usener : rt> libri 4 nv&v Usener : Ttp.2>v libn : 8t&v Wytten- 
bach 33 Diog. Laert. x, § 5 2 iven\r)a-as Suidas • *vtir\ijcrfv 
(rWn-Aijcr* B) libn 33 Diog. Laert. x, § 6 I <f>cvye ranariov apa- 
ftrvos Gassendl : <j>rvy*T* Kanbiapaptv B : (ptvyt re rort bt '/. i pafitv 



joy in my heart at the recollection of my conversations 
with you. Do you, as I might expect from your devotion 
from boyhood to me and to philosophy, take good care of 
the children of Metrodorus. 

To Colotes. 

31. In your feeling of reverence for what I was then 
saying you were seized with an unaccountable desire to 
embrace me and clasp my knees and show me all the signs 
of homage paid by men in prayers and supplications to 
others ; so you made me return all these proofs of venera- 
tion and respect to you. 

Go on thy way as an immortal and think of us too as 

To Leonhon. 

32. Lord and Saviour, my dearest Leontion, what a 
hurrahing you drew from us, when we read aloud youi 
dear letter. 

To Pythoclcs. 

33. Blest youth, set sail in your bark and flee from every 
form of culture. 

34. I will sit down and wait for your lovely and godlike 


To a boy or girl. 

35. "We have arrived at Lampsacus safe and sound, 
Pythocles and Hermarchus and Ctesippus and I, and 
there we found Themista and our other friends all well. 
I hope you too are well and your mamma, and that you 
are always obedient to pappa and Matro, as you used to 
be. Let me tell you that the reason that I and all the rest 
of us love you is that you are always obedient to them. 

(in mg. at) P: (f^Cyerr Kan dicpafitv QH 34 Diog. Laert. 

§ 5 35 Vol. Here. 176, col. 18 restituit Gomperz 4 a-ov 

Usener: navrfj Gomperz 6 atria Gomperz NAI11A pap. 

19TB T 


Epistula supremorum dierum. 

36. ' yap r/pepa ore Tavr iypcupov, ov^[i airo\- 
Kex[dpT)]i^f]p [5rj] [/c]ar[a rijv] ovpr\<rw \l\uol o&0ev Kal &Xyrt' 
bdves ivrjo-av t&v iiri ttjv TfXevraCav rjpApav ayovcr&v. o~v 
oZv, &v ti ylvrfrai, ra TraibCa to tArjTpobdipov biolKTjorov rirrapa 
5 V TtlvT irrj prjdef irActov bairavav rj wep vvv f[ls c]p.k bairavqs 
*car' iviavrdv. 

lncertarum epistularum fragmenta. 

37 BpvdCo tS> Kara to craipdnov fjbei, tfSart Kal &pT<f> 
XP&p-tvos, Kal irpocnrrva> rats in TroAvrtAeias fibovais ov 
bi avrds, aWa bia tcl t£aKo\ov0ovvra avTait bvcr\fprj. 

38 'ETTipeKov yip, KaOdirep croi Kal &naWaTTop,e'v<p iKcyov, 
Ka\ , ATToWob<ipov [tov] a[be\]<pov. ov yap xaitt)? &>v irap[4x)e.i 
p.o[t] cppovCba, ef ti irpdrrti, £>v ov fiovktrai. 

39. Tlip-^/ov p.01 Tvpov Kvdpihlov, ?i>* vrav j3ov\oop.anroAvre- 
\eij<raa-dai bvva> 

40. AaipovCws re Kat /jteyaXoirpeTrcos eircjxeATj^tjre r)pStv ra 
TTfpl rrjv tov aCrov Kopib-qv, Kal oipavopr) kt) cnjpeia ivbebdxO^ 
Trjs Trpbs ip.e eivoCas. 

41 [Trjv o-vvra£w fjv . . . cruvejrdfaro 4p.avrw[i k]Hv if 
"YTrep/3[op]eCoi,s cLcriv airooTe[ke]iv, ravrrfv <al pdirqv eirtrdrrto. 
[*]<caTov yap ko[1 e]I»co(rt [&]/>[ ax]M^[s- pov]as icar' iviavritv 
f3ovKop.a\i\ -nap kwrlpov Xapfidveiv. 

5 "HvcyKi p.01 Krijo-LTTTTos tt/v (ca[r]' e^taurov o~vvra$i\v fjv 
airioTtiKas virlp re tov iraTpbs Kal rrfavrov. 

42 Tip.Cav piv £fei dm (boaiv Trp> [v-n £]pov bodtio-av avrip 

43 OibiiroTf a>p£\Or)v tois TroAAoiy a.p4o~Kew. a p,iv yap 
£k*(vois T)pt<TK€v, ovk ipa$ov h 8' fjbciv eyoa, pjo.Kpav t\v ttJs 
■iKetvtov al<r(hqo-ea>s. 

44. 5 A<pvo-lo\6yrjTov p.r)bev rjyov floaxrrjS rj/y crapKOS (ioav 
Ttfv \l/vxrfv. o-apKOS be <p<avrp p.rj Treivrjv, p.ff bi\fnjv, piri 

36 Philodem. Trpa-^par. VIP 1. 128 : restituerunt Spengel Gomperz 
37 Stob. Flortl. xvii. 34 38 Pap. Here. 176, col. 8 39 Diog. 
Laert. x, § 11 1 KuffpidLov] KudplSiovf. KvSytov Menagius 40 Plut. 
tontr.Ep.beat. 15, p 1097 e I 8ainovia>s Usener : Sau>r hbn . Sa^ri- 
X»f Cobet 41 Philodem. npaypar VH* 1 127 43 Philo- 

clem. irpayfiar. VH* 1. 1 18 I avribotrai senpsi : alpowrav pap. 


Letter written in his last days. 

36. Seven days before writing this the stoppage became 
complete and I suffered pains such as bring men to their 
last day. If anything happens to me, do you look after 
the children of Metrodorus for four or five years, but do 
not spend any more on them than you now spend each 
year on me. 

Letters to unknown recipients. 

37. I am thrilled with pleasure in the body, when I live 
on bread and water, and I spit upon luxurious pleasures 
not for their own sake, but because of the inconveniences 
that follow them. 

38. As I said to you when you were going away, take 
care also of his brother Apollodorus. He is not a bad 
boy, but causes me anxiety, when he does what he does 
not mean to do. 

39. Send me some preserved cheese, that when 1 like 
I may have a feast. 

40. You have looked after me wonderfully generously 
in sending me food, and have given proofs heaven-high of 
your good will to me. 

41. The only contribution I require is that which . . 
ordered the disciples to send me, even if they are among 
the Hyperboreans. I wish to receive from each of you 
two a hundred and twenty drachmae a year and no more. 

Ctesippus has brought me the annual contribution which 
you sent for your father and yourself. 

4 a. He will have a valuable return in the instruction 
which 1 have given him. 

43. I was never anxious to please the mob. For what 
pleased them, I did not know, and what I did know, was 
far removed from their comprehension. 

44. Think it not unnatural that when the flesh cries 
aloud, the soul cries too. The flesh cries out to be saved 
from hunger, thirst, and cold. It is hard for the soul to 

43 Gnomolog. cod. Par. 1168, f. 11 5r 3 alo-Qija-tms edd. 

BnT0itrta>r Par. 44 Porph. ad Marc. 30, p. 209, 7 Nauck 

1 2 


piyovv. koI ravra rfj \fruxj} \a\eirdv fxiv iccoXtkrat, €7ricr</>aAes 
8£ TrapaKovcrai rijs irapayyetAaoTjs (pvo-ftus airrfi 8ta rfjs irpocr 
5 <pvovs avrfi avrapKeias naff r)p.ipav. 

45. 'O oZv tjj <j>vcrei ■jrapa.KoKovd&v xal jit} rais mucus 
8o£ats iv ttclitiv avrdpKrjs' irpos yap rb rfj tpij<rei apicovv miera 
KTrj/rls irrri irXovros, irpbs bi ras aoptcrrovs 6p££(is Kal 6 
pAyicrTos tt\ovt6s Icttlv {pi ttKovtos aXKa TvevCa). 

46. 'Ec/>' Strop 5' av ap.7)X av V s > XrjOr) Trjs (pvrreuis ap.rix.avt is' 
<ravr<p yap aapiarovs (pofiovs Kal iTridvp.Cas Trpoo-fiaWeis. 

47. = Sent. Vat. XIV. 

48. K.peiTTov 8^ croi Oappetv ini <rrt/3<l8o? KaraKeipAvy tj 
Tap&TTecrdai xpvcrrjv ix^^V K^Cvr/v Kal irokvTe\rj rpd-ne^av. 

49 . . (f>^pa}V TTfV tTTierToKrjv Trapa rro[C] Kal rbv bia\o- 
yicruov bv iirtisorjcro ■wept t&v avOpunrcov orrot M T I re T h v 
&va\oyCav tijv Kara, ra <paiv6p,ev[a e]v tols dopdrois o\y(Ta^ 
7)bvvavT0 criu>i8eu> p-r)Tf rrfv <rvpi<f><i>i>(av ttju rais ai<r#7ja-€<Tiii 

J vnapxovcrav Trpbs ra aop&ra Kal ndXi[v\ avripaprvp[rj^<riv . . . 

50 'Hbv fj tpi\ov p.vr)p.rj redifr/KOTos. 

51 Mt) <j)€vye p.iKpa x a P'T <f<r ^ ctt * bo£eis yap Kal irpbs ra 
p.eyd\a toiovtos tivai. 

52. 'ExCpoB heriBivTos p.rj airoa-Tpacpfjs ttjv agCoomv ttAj/i' 
&,o-<f>a\C^ov creavTov ovbtv yap kvvvs biatptpei. 


De Sapientia et Sapiente. 

53 = Sent. Vat. LIV. 

54 Kerbs IksIvov <pi\o<r6(pov Xoyoy, v0' ov pjqhev irddos 
av0pd>TTOv dtpaueveTai' &a-ntp yap larpiKTjs ovbev 5(pe\os (itf 
ras vdcrovs t&v a(x>p6xu>v eKpaWovaris, ovrcas oibk <pi\otro<pCas, 
fl rb ri]s i/rux»)y «K/3dAA.ei itddos. 

3 rj) Tjrvxfl Nauck : rijv \f>vx')v cod. 45 Porph. ad Marc. 27, 
p. 207, 31 Nauck 4 inTiv\ oi nXovros dAXa irm'a adiecit 

Bignone : tan ntvia Usener 46 Porph ad Marc. 29, p. 209, I 
2 cravry edd. : avrbv cod. 47 Stob Flonl. xvi. 28 48 Porph 
ad Marc. 29, p. 209, 3 I KaraKtifievr] . f'xovo-fl] K<iTaK(tfifvq>...exovTi 
Usener 49 Philodem irpayfiar VH l 1. 126 secundum lectionem 
Cronert 50 Plut. contr. Eft. beat. 28, p. nosd 51 Maximus 



repress these cries, and dangerous for it to disregard 
nature's appeal to her because of her own wonted indepen- 
dence day by day. 

45 The man who follows nature and not vain opinions 
is independent in all things. For m reference to what is 
enough for nature every possession is riches, but in 
reference to unlimited desires even the greatest wealth 
is (not riches but poverty). 

46. In so far as you are in difficulties, it is because you 
forget nature; for you create for yourself unlimited fears 
and desires. 

48. It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon 
a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and 
be full of trouble. 

49. . . . remembering your letter and your discussion 
about the men who are not able to see the analogy between 
phenomena and the unseen nor the harmony which exists 
between sensations and the unseen and again the contra- 

50. Sweet is the memory of a dead friend. 

51. Do not avoid conferring small favours for then you 
will seem to be of like character towards great things. 

52. If your enemy makes a request to you, do not turn 
from his petition . but be on your guard , for he is like 
a dog. 


On philosophy. 

54. Vain is the word of a philosopher which does not 
heal any suffering of man. For just as there is no profit 
in medicine if it does not expel the diseases of the body, 
so there is no profit in philosophy either, if it does not 
expel the suffering of the mind 

Gnotnol. c. 8 5a Maximus Gnomol c. 66 54 Porph. ad 

Marc 31, p. 209, 23 Nauck (cf Stob Flonl. lxxxn. 6) 3 eV/9aA- 
Aowrijr Stob. : 6* pairfvftv cod. 4 iraOor] khk6v Stob. 



55. Ovbh> £4vov iv travrl Amort \eFrot irapa tov rjbrf 
ytye\n\\i£vov \p6vov Smeipov. 

g6. Ov yap ptaWov ei$aCp.ovas <cal abiaXvrovs vorjcroixev 
juj) {pwvovvras [/■«?]&' [iA]A^Aois SiaXeyoft^vovs, ilXAa tols 
ivcois av0pa>-noLS 6p.oCovs. 

57. 'Hju[etf yoCv] 0v(ap.ev [6irC](iis kol koX&s ov [KaOyjuei, 
ica[i K]aX«[r] Trai/ra ■npaTToip.ev [/ca]ra roiiy vopavs fA.v\Q*[v\ 
reus b6£ats a[v]rovs iv rois irepl tS>v aplaraiv k[cu] o-efivord- 
twv biarapdiTovTfS' [«?ti] 8£ kcu 6£(caio[i 2>]^iev 7}? 

6 £A.«[yoi> Btfjfrjs" ourco yap [tj/]5e'xeTai dnxr[iK&>s] £fjv . . . 

58. El rais roil' avdp<i>TTu>v ev\aLS 6 $tos Ka.Tr)Ko\ovdti, 
darrov (fiv) dircoAAwro Tt&vres &v6pooTroi, o-vvey(&s iroXKa /cac 
Xakeira kot' a\KrjXa>v fv\6p.evoL. 


59. 'Apxfj xai p(C<* iravTos ayadov fj ttjs yatrTpbs fibovrp 
koX ra <ro<pa nal to. ntpiTTa inl ravrrfv £\ei tt]v avatpopav. 

60 Trfre xpeiav rrjs ffbovfjs, orav iK tov p,ri Trapeivai 
avr-fjv d\ycj/iev Zrav 8e tovto prj iv alo-0-qo-n 
KaOto-T&res, tots oibtfiCa \peCa rrjs T)uovfjs' ov yap f/ r>js 
<p-ucre<t)s ffbovrj rr\v abiKlav iron? H£u>0€v, dXA.' rj Tsep\ raj 
6 (cefds fidfas o/)e£t?. 

61. To yap ttoiovv avvnlpfiA.r]TOi> yfjOos to fnap' auTof 
■ncqbvypivov p-eya nanov koX avrr) <pvaLs ayaOov, b\v ris dpdvs 
i-m/3d\ri, lireira o-radf/, nal fxr) icev&s istpi-nart] irtp\ ayaOov 

62. "Afxtivov iariv VTropifivai rova-be rivas roi/s tsovovs, 
8tto>s fjo-6G>fi(v rjbovas p,dCovs' o~vpi<p^pei r&vbi tivoiv aire- 
X(o~dat tG>v r)bovG>v Xva pii] dAyfi/xei' &\yrjb6vas x a ^ e ' 7rw ' r ^P a ^- 

63 MijSe alrid>p.eOa ttjv o-dpua a>s r&v p.eyd\cov KaK&v 
alrCav p-rio' els ra np&ypara Tp£"i:u>p.ev ras bvo-<popCas. 

55 Plat. Strom, fr. 8 56 Philodem de Vtct. deor Vfi 1 vi 13 
57 Philodem. irtpl ticrc/3 VH^ 11. 108, 9 restituit Gomperz 1 Kat 
Ka\as scnpsi : ko . aXa> charta : km r&AXa Gomperz 5 Crjv 

Gomperz : rrjv charta 58 Gnomolog. cod. Par. 1168, f. 115 r 

3 ta> om. Par. diruXXupro edd : <ljrd>XXotvro Par. 50 Athen. xu, 
p. 546 f 60 Stob. Flortl. xvh. 35 4 17*0^7] 2v$ua Usener . 

<f>m>n} Cronert : pomj Bignone 61 Plut, cotttr.Ep. beat 7, p. 1091a 




55. Nothing new happens in the universe, if you con- 
sider the infinite time past. 

56. "We shall not be considering them any happier or 
less destructible, if we think of them as not speaking nor 
conversing with one another, but resembling dumb men. 

57. Let us at least sacrifice piously and rightly where it 
is customary, and let us do all things rightly according to 
the laws not troubling ourselves with common beliefs in 
what concerns the noblest and holiest of beings. Further 
let us be free of any charge in regard to their opinion 
For thus can one live in conformity with nature . . . 

58. If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would 
quickly have perished : for they are for ever praying for 
evil against one another. 


59. The beginning and the root of all good is the pleasure 
of the stomach ; even wisdom and culture must be referred 
to this. 

60. We have need of pleasure when we are in pain from 
its absence : but when we are not feeling such pain, though 
we are in a condition of sensation, we have no need of 
pleasure. For the pleasure which arises from nature does 
not produce wickedness, but rather the longing connected 
with vain fancies. 

61 That which creates joy insuperable is the complete 
removal of a great evil. And this is the nature of good, if 
one can once grasp it rightly, and then hold by it, and not 
walk about babbling idly about the good. 

62 It is better to endure these particular pains so that 
we may enjoy greater joys. It is well to abstain from 
these particular pleasures in order that we may not suffer 
more severe pains. 

63. Let us not blame the flesh as the cause of great evils, 
nor blame circumstances for our distresses. 

I nap' avn-dj nap' airrov Reiske napavra Usencr : kot avrd Blgnone 
3 tni&a\ n Usener : (VipaAXj, libn 6» Anstocles apud Euseb. 

Praep. evang xiv, 21, 3, p. 769 a 63 Porph. ad Marc. 29, 

p 208, 25 Nauck 


64. Ol fiey&Xoi irovoi avirr6fiMis igayovcriv, ol be XP^ VU>1 
pjyedos ovk 4x ova ' lv - 

65 'O yap ttovo? 6 v-nepfiaXkaov avva\jrei 6av&T<f>. 

66 "Epcon <pi\ocro<f)Cas dX-qdwfjs Tzava Tapa\a>br}s Kai $ttC- 
ttovos inidvpCa iKXverai. 

67. Xdpis rfi fiuKapla <t>i«r« Bn to. avayKaia eirofyo-ev 
eviropicrra, ra be bva-Tropicrra ovk avayKaia. 

68. Oi> cmaviov ye evpeiv &v0p(otrov (ire'vriTa) Trpos rd rijs 
(pvarems re\os Kal Tr\ovo-iov TTpbs ras Kevas bd£as. ovbets 
yap t&v a.<ppovcav oTy «x«i apKeirai, pxiWov be ols ovk e\et 
Sbwarai. &crttep ovv 01 TTvpirrovTes bia KaKorjOeiav ttjs 

5 (yoo-ov) aei bt\f/&(Tt Kai t&v ivavr loot drew eniGvpovcriv, o{rrto 
Kal ol ttjv ^f/vxTii' KaK&s f^o^rey biaKeipLerrjV -nevovrai Trav- 
tu>v del Kai ets TroXvTpoirovs £Tri6vp,(as virb KatpapyCas ip- 
ttCtttovo-iv. , 

69 *i2i oXlyov ovx iKavov, uXkd tovtu> ye oibev iKavov. 

70 n\ov<Tia>TaTOv avrdpKeia Ttdvrwv. 

71 <i>o(3ovp.evos 6 tto\vs to \itov rrjs biaCTijs bid. rbv 
i\>6fiov €7Tt TTfia£eis iropeverai ras pd\iaT' av tovtov Trapa- 

72 rioXAol tov ttXovtov rvxovres ov rip) aTraXAayi]V t&v 
kuk&v evpov uXXa p.era[ioKi)v ptiCdvcov. 

73 'E£ epyaa-lai 0-qpidtbovs avcrias p.ev TrXrjOos o-cupeverai, 
(3ios bi TaAaiTruipos <rvvi(TTaTai. 

74 *U yap Sia tpofiov tls KaKobaiporel rj bi aopicrrov Kai 
Kein]V iiridvpiav a tis x a ^ LV ^ >v ovvarat rbv paKaptov eavTw 
irepLnoirjcrai Xoyio-fiov. 

75 Ovk cnropetv tovtcov ttovos icrrCv, dAAa cfiipeiv pxxWov 
rbv ai'dvrjrov eK tS>v Kev&v bo£&v novov. 

76 'H Ta-neun) yfn>xv rots p.ev eiirjpepripacriv i\avvoi6r}, rats 
<rvp.<f>opaT± KaOype'dr]. 

77. Kai re -napa rrjs rv^qs piKporepa (fj (fyvais) blbarTKei 

64 Plut. de Poet, aud 1 4, p. 36 b 65 Plut. contr. Ep. beat. 23, 
p. 1103 d 66 Vor-ph. ad Mar c. 31, p. 209, 21 67 Stob. Florrl. 
xvn 23 68 Porph ad Marc. 27, p 208, 2 Nauck 1 oi] om* 
Usener nevrp-a supplevit Usener • om. cod. 5 votrou supplevit 
Mai: om. cod. 69 Aehan Var. hist iv. 13 70 Clem Alex. 
Strom, vi. 2, p. 266, 38 71 Porph. ad Marc 28, p 208, 1 5 Nauck 
73 Porph. ad Marc 28, p. 208, 23 Nauck 1 rijv] nv Usener 
73 Porph. ad Marc. 28, p. 209, 5 Nauck 1 drjpicoiovr Nauck 



64. Great pains quickly put an end to life ; long-enduring 
pains are not severe. 

65. Excessive pain will bring you to death. 

66. Through love of true philosophy every disturbing 
and troublesome desire is ended. 

67. Thanks be to blessed Nature because she has made 
what is necessary easy to supply, and what is not easy 

68. It is common to find a man who is (poor) in respect 
of the natural end of life and rich in empty fancies. For 
of the fools none is satisfied with what he has, but is 
grieved for what he has not. Just as men with fever 
through the malignance of their (disease) are always thirsty 
and desire the most injurious things, so too those whose 
mind is in an evil state are always poor in everything and 
in their greed are plunged into ever-changing desires. 

69 Nothing satisfies the man who is not satisfied with 
a little. 

70. Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all riches. 

71. Most men fear frugality and through their fear are 
led to actions most likely to produce fear. 

72. Many men when they have acquired riches have 
not found the escape from their ills but only a change to 
greater ills. 

73. By means of occupations worthy of a beast abun- 
dance of riches is heaped up, but a miserable life results. 

74. Unhappiness comes either through fear or through 
vain and unbridled desire Lut if a man curbs these, he 
can win for himself the blessedness of understanding. 

75. It is not deprivation of these things which is pain, 
but rather the bearing of the useless pam that arises from 
vain fancies 

76. The mean soul is puffed up by prosperity and cast 
down by misfortune. 

77. (Nature) teaches us to pay little heed to what fortune 

6pvT}vwdovs cod. 74 Porph ad Marc. 29, p. 208, 30 Nauck 
75 Porph. ad Marc. 3r, p. 209, 19 Nauck 1 tt6vos\ kokov coniecit 
Usener 76 Gnomolog. cod. Par 1 168, f. II 5, &c. 77 Porph 
ad Marc. 30, p. 209, 12 Nauck I napa rf/s tvx'1? Usener : ntpl i-rji 
ifrvxys cod. 


vofdCew, Kai fvrv\ovvTQ.S likv yuH&a-Kttv drvxciv, bvarvxavvras 
bi ftr) irapa. p.iya rlBetrOai ov to evrvxtiv, Kai b^\e<rdai fxht 
aOopnufiws ra irapa Trjs T&xj)s dya&d, vapaTfrd\6ai b% trpds ret 
5 Trap' avrrjs boKovvra etvai teased- is ifprfptepov irdv to tS>v 
iroXX&v dyaOov Iotl Kai kuk6v, aotpla b% ovbafxtis TVXV 

78. 'O Trjs aijpiov fj^iora bedpLcvos rjburra irpdcreuri irpds 
tt)v avpuov. 

79. TipoaTTTVoo Tip Ko\if Kai tols Kfvws airo OavpA^ovaiv, 
brav p.r)b(p.iav rjbovrjv iroifj. 

80 Ainaioo-vvrjs Kapiros pJytoTos &Tapa£Ca. 

81. Ol vdp.01 \dpiv tZv <ro<pG>v Kfivrai, ov\ 8iru>s p.r) 
aftt-KaxTtv d\A' ottcos p.r/ abiKuivTat. 

82. Kav \a0eiv bvvtovrai, ttio-tw irepl tov \adelv Xafi&v 
dbijvaTov Icttw odev 6 (irepi) tov pdWovTos del <po(3os 
lyKfCfjuvoi ovk ea yalpttv ovbk Oappeiv iirl rois irapovo-t. 

83 Ow irapovTOs ovbevds 6 KtKrrjp.(vos [to tov] yerovs 
r^[A]os [Tra]pa[TT\r}a{oi]s io-rlv aya0[6s]. 

84 Ovk €<ttiv a(f>o/3ov tTvat (pofitpov <f>aiv6p.tvov. 

85 To tvbaifjLov Kai p.andpiov oi XP r H JL ° LT0 > v wXtJ^oj otiSe 
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86. AdOt fiiuxras. 

87 Alyeiv bei nSis apiara to Trjs qbv(re(x>s Ttkos o-vvtt}- 
pr|<rei, Kai n&s tis £k&>v ttvai p.^ irpuafuriv e£ dpxV* Tas 
tG>v vKrjdmv dpxds. 

3 n-np/i Usener • ntp't cod. tv Usener £>k cod. 5 ante a>g 
cod. Kai habet : delevit Nauck 6 koi kok6v ex Gnomol. Byz. 

supplevit Usener : om.cod. post 5* cod. koi rrrto-nj^ij habet • om 
Usener rvx.l Usener: ti^ijs cod. 78 Plut de J rang antm. 
16, p 474 c 79 Athen. xn, p 547 a 80 Clem Alex. Strom. 
vi. 2, p 266, 39 81 Stob Fiortl 43, 139 8a Plut. contr 

Ep. beat. 6, p 1090 c 83 Script. Epic. Incert VH* vn. 21, coL 
xxvni 84 Gnomol cod. Par n68,f 115 u, etc. 85 Plut. de 
Poet, aud C. 14, p. 37 a 86 Plut. ft icoXif dprfrai to ~ka6i fiiwrras, 
p, 1128 sq. 87 Plut. adv Col 31, p. 1125 c 



brings, and when we are prosperous to understand that we 
are unfortunate, and when we are unfortunate not to regard 
prosperity highly, and to receive unmoved the good things 
which come from fortune and to range ourselves boldly 
against the seeming evils which it brings : for all that the 
many regard as good or evil is fleeting, and wisdom has 
nothing in common with fortune 

78. He who least needs to-morrow, will most gladly go 
to meet to-morrow. 

79. I spit upon the beautiful and those who vainly 
admire it, when it does not produce any pleasure. 

80. The greatest fruit of justice is serenity. 

81. The laws exist for the sake of the wise, not that they 
may not do wrong, but that they may not suffer it. 

82. Even if they are able to escape punishment, it is 
impossible to win security for escaping : and so the fear of 
the future which always presses upon them does not suffer 
them to be happy or to be free from anxiety in the present 

83. The man who has attained the natural end of the 
human race will be equally good, even though no one is 

84. A man who causes fear cannot be free from fear. 

85. The happy and blessed state belongs not to abun- 
dance of riches or dignity of position or any office 01 
power, but to freedom from pain and moderation in feelings 
and an attitude of mind which imposes the limits ordained 
by nature. 

86. Live unknown. 

87. We must say how best a man will maintain the 
natural end of life, and how no one will willingly at first 
aim at public office. 



'EttCkovpos NeoKAe'ous Kal Xaipeo-rpctrj;?, ' AOrjvalos, rav 
br\p.uiv TapyrjTTios, yivovs tov tQv 4>iAcuB<3i\ coy tpTjcri 
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ft 1 AOrjvaliav Tt\v 26.p.ov iKeWi Tpa<prjvai' <3/craj/ccu8eK^T?7 8' i\deiv 
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dtta BPQH . iS F 13 $£<u Hubner : &{m B : ai£m FPQH 



i Epicurus, son of Neocles and Chaerestrata, was an 
Athenian of the deme of Gargettus, and the family of the 
Philaidae, as Metrodorus says in his work on Nobility of 
Btrth. Heraclides in his epitome of Sotion and others say 
that the Athenians having colonized Samos, Epicurus was 
brought up there. In his eighteenth year, as they say, he 
came to Athens, when Xenocratcs was at the Academy 
and Aristotle was living in Chalcis. After the death of 
Alexander of Macedon, when the Athenians were driven 
out of Samos by Perdiccas, he went to join his father in 

a Colophon, Having stayed there some time and gathered 
disciples he returned again to Athens in the archonship of 
Anaxicrates. For a while he joined with others in the 
study of philosophy, but later taught independently, when 
he had founded the school called after him. He tells us 
himself that he first made acquaintance with philosophy 
at the age of fourteen. Apollodorus the Epicurean m the 
first book of his Life of Epicurus says that he took to 
philosophy because he despised the teachers of literature, 
since they were not able to explain to him the passage 
about Chaos in Hesiod. Hermippus says that Epicurus 
was at one time a schoolmaster and then after he met with 
the writings of Democntus, he took eagerly to philosophy. 

3 And this is why Timon says about him : 

'Last and most shameless of the scientists, infant school 
teacher from Samos, the most stubborn of all living 
beings '. 

His three brothers, Neocles, Chaeredemus, and Aristo- 
bulus joined him in studying philosophy at his suggestion, 
according to Philodemus the Epicurean in the tenth book 



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ttis 'KitiKovpov koI 6 tcl (Is Xpv<rcmrov ava<pep6p,eva iirtardkia 

4 <S>s 'Ewticovpov crvvT&£as. | dAAd nal ot nepl Tlocrfibdviov rbv 
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avrbs rpitcuktoros, Bitov av vp.eis Kal ©e^ifcrra 7rapaKaA7jre, 
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<far)crl, TrpocrboKoiv -rijv lp.epT7iv Kal Icrd&eov aov flaobov. " Kal 
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r]<i Kai M.T)Tpob(opov epaa-Orjvat. iv re r^5 Ilepi reAov? ypdcpetv 
ovrais. Ov yap lycuye tI vorja-ui rayadov, a<paip5>v p.ev 

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roll BFPQH (Udbos Hubner . k5 libn 9 darby BPH : avrov 
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avr§ iraptuvtiv libri : vofilfciv avrr)v ntpaivtiv Froben, unde vop.i(ti airr/v 
jrtpaivctv Blgnone : avopa{ti avrfjv iralpav (vel 'Aptdyvijc) Usener : 
vofiifai avyfjv naptytlyai Kochalsky : locus nondum sanatus 



of his Comparison of Philosophies. Also a slave called 
Mys, as Muronianus says in his chapters on historical 

Diotimus the Stoic, who is ill-disposed to Epicurus, has 
calumniated him most bitterly by producing fifty lewd 
letters as Epicurus' work ; so has the writer who has 
assigned to Epicurus the collection of ' billets-doux ' which 

4 were attributed to Chrysippus, and also Posidonius the 
Stoic and his followers, as well as Nicolaus and Setion in 
the twelve books of the 'Arguments of Diodes* which are 
named after the Epicurean celebration of The Twentieth ; 
also Dionysius of Halicarnassus For they say that he 
used to go round from house to house with his mother 
reading out the purification prayers, and assisted his father 
in elementary teaching for a miserable pittance. They 
add that one of his brothers prostituted himself and kept 
company with Leontion, the hetaera. Also that he took 
Democritus' atomic theory and Aristippus' theory of plea- 
sure and taught them as his own. Further, that he was 
not an Athenian born, as Timocrates says, and Herodotus 
too in his book The Youth of Eptcurus. He is also said to 
have used degrading flattery towards Mithres, the steward 
of Lysimachus, calling him in his letters both ' Saviour ' and 

5 ' My lord '. Idomeneus too and Herodotus and Timo- 
crates, who divulged his secrets, he is said to have praised 
and flattered all the same. And in his letters he wrote to 
Leontion, ' Lord and Saviour, my dearest Leontion, what a 
hurrahing you drew from us, as we read aloud your dear 
letter', and to Themista, Leonteus' wife, ' If you two don't 
come to me, I am capable of arriving with a hop, skip and 
jump, wherever you and Themista summon me '. And to 
Pythocles who was young and beautiful he writes, ' I will 
sit down and wait for your lovely and godlike appearance '. 
And again in writing to Themista he calls her (by a most 
flattering name), as Theodorus says in the fourth book of 

6 his attack on Epicurus. They say that he wrote to many 
other women of pleasure and particularly to Leontion, 
with whom Metrodorus was also in love ; and that in the 
treatise On the End of Life he wrote, 'I know not how 
I can conceive the good, if I withdraw the pleasures ot 



ras Sta \yK&v ifiovds, a<paip&v be ras bi i<f>pobio-Cu>v Kal ras 
5 bt aKpoap.dra>v Kal ras bia px>p<pr}s. iv re rff npbs TlvOotcXia 
Ivio-roXij ypdqbeiv Tlaibetav be iraa-av, p.aKdpie, tpevye rhKAriov 
ipdp.evos. 'EttCkti]t6s rc KivaiboXdyov avrbv Ka\ei Kal ra 
HdXiora \oibopei. Kal p.r)v Kal TLp.OKp6.Trj9 iv tois imypacjio- 
p.4voi$ E,vqbpavrois 6 Mqrpob&pov yiv abe\<f>6s, fxaOr/Trfs be 
10 avrou ttJs o-)(oA.rjs iK<f>on~%o-as q^rjo-l bis avrbv rfjs f/fiipas 
ip,(iv 6.710 rpvcpijs, iavrbv 8e SiTjyeZrai fxdyis iK<j>vyeiv lo-xvcrai 
ras WKTepivas iKeCvas (piXocro(j>Cas kol rr)v p.vo-riKr)v iKeCirqv 
<rvvbiaya>yriv | tov re 'EirlKovpov -noXXa Kara tov Xoyov 
r)yvor)Kivai Kal ttoXv p&XAov Kara rbv j3Cov, to re oS>p.a 
iXeeiv&s biaKucrOai, &>s 7roAA<3i> irG>v fxrj bvvacrOai dub tov 
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5 Tpdirefav, di; airrbs iv rfj rrpbs Aeovriov iitio-roXfj ypdtyei Kal 
iv rais rrpbs tovs iv MvriXr)vy <f>i\oo-6<f>ovs- (rvveivaC re 
avr<3 re Kal Mr]Tpob(Lp(p iraipas Kal aXXas, Mapp,dpiov Kal 
'H8eiai> Kal 'Eptonov Kal Nik18iof. Kal iv rats e7rra Kal 
rpiaKoin-a fiCfiXois rais Tiepl (pu<rea>s ra TrKelma ravrd Xeyeiv 
io Kal avTiyp6cpfiv iv airais &.Wou re *al Naixru/xWi ra 
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yap Ikcivos Joblvcov rr)v airb tov oroparos Kav\rio-LV rr\v 
cro(piaTLKr)v, KaOdnep Kai dAAot ttoXXol t5>v dvbpanobonv. | 
Kal airbv 'ETtiKovpov iv rais eTrtaroAais Trepl Navcri<p6vovs 
Aeyeiz' Tavra rjyayev airbv els cKOTamv Toiavrr\v, tucrre poi 
XoibopeTcrdai Kal diroKaXeiv bibd.o-KaX.ov. irXevpovd re avrdv 
iKaXei Kal dypdp.p.aTov Kal dnareUva nal Tzopvrjv tovs re 7repi 
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7 Man/idpiov Spengel ex Philodemo ' pappdpmv BPQH : pnpptl- 
petov F g ravTa Kuhn : raCra libn : post rairrd Usener (t() 
inseruit io a>Xois f- (JXXair BFPQH ra irXfin-Tn uncinis 

inclusit Usener n dXX' "raw-ay Usener. n\X' «*r<Br <JXX' 

B : alu hbri alia . aXX' <" rtr <tXXor Stephanus tlx f 
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taste and withdraw the pleasures of love and those of 
hearing and sjght '. Again in the letter to Pythocles they 
say he wrote^Blest youth, set sail in your bark and flee 
from every form of culture '. Epictetus moreover calls 
him a filthy talker and abuses him roundly. And even 
Ttmocrates, who was the brother of Metrodorus and a 
disciple of Epicurus, after he had abandoned the school, 
wrote in a book with the title Pleasant Things that Epicurus 
used to vomit twice a day owing to his luxurious living, 
and that he himself was scarcely able to escape from his 
philosophical disquisitions during the night and from the 

7 community of the initiates. He adds that Epicurus was 
profoundly ignorant of philosophy and still more so of 
practical life, that his body was miserably weak, so that 
for many years he was unable to rise from his portable 
couch . further, that he spent no less than a mina a day on 
his food, as Epicurus writes himself m the letter to Leon- 
tion and in the letters to the philosophers in Mytilene 
moreover, there were other women who lived with him and 
Metrodorus, named Mamraanon and Hcdcia and Erotion 
and Nicidion. He adds that in the thirty-seven books 
On Nature he repeats himself foi the most part and 
attacks many other philosophers in them but Nausiphanes 
most of all, saying in his own words, ' Away with them all 
for Nausiphanes, like many another slave, was in travail 

8 with that wordy braggart, sophistic ' He says that 
Epicurus himself in his letters about Nausiphanes said, 
'This drove him to such a state of fury that he abused 
me and ironically called me " Master" '. He used to call 
Nausiphanes 'The mollusc', ' The illiterate ', 'The cheat', 
' The harlot '. The followers of Plato he called ' Flatterers 
of Dionysus' and Plato himself 'The golden man', and 
Aristotle 'The debauchee', saying that he devoured his 
inheritance and then enlisted and sold drugs Protagoras 
he called ' Porter ' or ' Copier of Democritus ', saying that 
he taught in the village schools. Herachtus he called 

8 3 dt&acmaKov] Svo-koKov coniecit Usener : (pov iavrov) adiecit 
Kochalsky 6 supplevit C. F. Harmann 7 crrpaTeica-Bai] 
reparevta-dat coniecit Usener 


i 4 6 


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'The Muddler', Democritus Lerocritus ('Judge of non- 
sense '), Antidorus Sannidorus (' Maniac '), the Cynics 
' Enemies of Hellas the Logicians ' The destroyers and 
Pyrrho ' The uneducated fool '. 

But these calumniators are all mad. For Epicurus has 
witnesses enough and to spare to his unsurpassed kindness 
to all men. There is his country which honoured him 
with bronze statues, his friends so numerous that they 
could not even be reckoned by entire cities, and his dis- 
ciples who all remained bound for ever by the charm of 
his teaching, except Metrodorus, son of Stratoniceus, who 
went over to Carneades, overweighted perhaps by Epi- 
curus' excessive goodness. There is also the permanent 
continuance of the school after almost all the others had 
come to an end, and that though it had a countless succes- 
io sion of heads from among the disciples. There is again 
his grateful devotion to his parents, his generosity to his 
brothers, and his gentleness towards his servants, of whom 
the most notable was Mys already mentioned, as is proved 
by his will and the part they took in his philosophical 
discussions. In short there is his benevolence to all. Ot 
his reverence towards the gods and his love of his country 
it would be impossible to speak adequately But from 
excess of modesty he would not take any part in politics 
Yet although Greece was at that time in great straits he 
continued to live there, and only once or twice made a 
voyage to Ionia and the neighbourhood to see his friends. 
But they came to him from all quarters, and took up their 
abode with him in the garden, as Apollodorus says [who 
adds that he bought it for eighty minae • Diocles in the 
third book of his Course in Philosophy confirms this], living 

n a most frugal and simple life. Indeed, he says, they were 
satisfied with half a pint of wine, and for the most part 
drank water. He adds that Epicurus did not recommend 
them to put their belongings into a common stock, as did 
Pythagoras, who said that ' Friends have all in common V 
For to do so implied distrust : and distrust could not go 
with friendship. Epicurus himself says in his letters that 
he was content with nothing but water and a bit of bread 

k 2 


rvpov, qjrjcrC, KvOpibLov, tv orav fiovXoipai ■noXvTtXtvo-aaOai. 
b6vu> toiovtos tJi> 6 rr)v fjdovfiv rival re'Xos boyp.aTl£u>v. 
tv nal 'Adjjvaios bt iiriypAnixaros ovrcas vfivel | 

&v0pooTr<H ^lox^eiTe ra \elpova, <ai bib. K^pbos 

&irXr)o-roi veiKiwv &p)(ere nal noXtpLoav 
ras <f>v<Ttos 8' 6 rrXovros 5pov riva. /3aiov kulo-^ti- 
al be Ktvai KpCtries rav drrepavrov obov. 
5 rovro NeoKXrjos irivvrbv t4kos t) irapa Mov(r4(uv 

HkXvzv 7/ Ylvdovs e£ lep<2v rpirrobaiv. 

(I<r6p.f0a be koI p.a.Xkov rrpoiovres £k re rS>v boypdrutv ix. re 

TO>V pt)Tu>V aVTOV. 

MaA.i<rra b' a.Trebex fTO > 4 >r l' Tl AiokXt/s", t&v ap\auov 
o 'Ava£aydpav, Kalroi ev rimv azrt ipjjKcbs avrSi, Kal ' Apx^Xaov 
rov "2,a>Kp&.rovs bibdaKaXoi'.£e be, 4>r}crt, robs yvcop[- 
piovs Koi Sio pvr]pr]s e^eiv ra eavrov <rvyyp6.pp.ara. \ Tovrov 
' AnoXXobaipos ev XpovLKoTs ~Nav<ri<p&vovs aKovrraC (pijcri Kal 
TIpa^Kpdi'ovs' avros be ov qjijcriv, dXX' eavrov, ev rfj irpbs 
EvpvKo-^ov eTTtaro\fj. aXX' oibe AevKinrtov riva yeyevfjirOaC 
5 (prjo-i (piXocrocpov, ovre avros ovre "Epixap^os, ov evioC (pa<TL 
Kal 'AiroAAo'Scopoy 6 'EirtKovpeios bibavKaXov ArjpoKpCrov 
yeyevrprdai. AijprjTpLos be <f>ri<riv o Mdyvris Kal 'EevoKpdrovs 
avrov a.Kov<Tat. 

K4xPV Tai ^ X4£ei KvpLq Kara, twv TTpayparu>v, rjv on 
o Ibwrdry] eariv, ' Xpicrro^dvrjS 6 ypafxpariKos alriarai. traq^ris 
b' Jjv ovrms, a>s Kal ev r<5 Hepl prjTapuii}* afi<n prjbev 5.XXo 
rj cracprjveiav airaireiv | Kal ev rais ema-roXais dvrl rov 
X.aCpeiv Ev itpdrreiv Kal IZrrovbaCcos Cv 1 '- 

1 ApitTTtiiV be (prjcriv e"v r<2 'EniKovpov /3i'a) rov Kavova 
ypdif/ai avrov ex rov Navcriq^dvovs Tpbrobos, ov /cat aKOVo-aC 
5 q^rjaiv avrov, aXXa. Kal Tlap.q^C\ov rov rWarwiKov iv Sa/xo). 
&p£aaOa( re <j)i\otro(pelv erG>v VTi&pyovra bvoKaibeKa, afpriyq- 
o-ao-dai be rrjs <T\o\ys ir&v ovra bvo irpbs roii rpi&KOvra. 

7 Ku6pihlov\ KvdpiStov f. KvOvlov Menagius 13 2 air\noroi 
U setter: tnrheuTrav F ; cm\r)tTTup Jib. cett. 8 prjrS>v BP'Q . prj/xd- 
rav FP*H 13 4 'Evpv\<>x°v Menagius ex § 28 eipoXoieoK P'Q: 

tipvBoKov BFP'H 10 i8icurdTj;] IdioiriKtoTdrt] Menagius iito>- 

riKr) Bake 12 i-rvaiTtlv] dtTKf'iv Cobet . anniTotv comecit Usener 
14 2 post XaCpav Usener yptifat inserere voluit 3 'Apla-rav 

Cobet. Hpiarov' oi llbri : 'Aplcrrav <5 n(epmaTrjriKi>t) Blgnone 1 
'AKr/yo"os Usener <prj<riv Cobet ■ <pa<rtv libri 


'Send me,' he says, 'some preserved cheese, that when 
I like I may have a feast.' Such was the man who taught 
that the end is pleasure. Athenaeus sings his praise in 
an epigram : 

ia Men toil at mean pursuits, for love of gain 
Insatiate they welcome war and strife ; 

Their idle fancies lead on endless paths, 

But nature's wealth is set in narrow bounds. 

This truth the prudent son of Neocles 

Learnt from the Muses or Apollo's shrine. 

The truth of this we shall know better as we go on from 
his own words and teaching. 

Diocles says that of the earlier philosophers he showed 
most sympathy with Anaxagoras, though on certain points 
he opposed him, and with Archelaus, the master of Socrates. 
And, he adds, he used to practise his disciples in getting 

13 his writings by heart. Apollodorus in his Chronicles 
asserts that he listened to the teaching of Nausiphanes 
and Praxiphanes. Epicurus himself denies this in his 
letter to Eurylochus and says he was his own teacher. 
And indeed both Epicurus and Hermarchus deny that 
there ever was such a philosopher as Leucippus, whom 
Apollodorus the Epicurean and others say was the master 
of Democritus. Demetrius of Magnesia says that he was 
also a follower of Xenocrates. 

He uses current diction to expound his theory, but 
Aristophanes the grammarian censures it as being too 
peculiar. But he was clear in expression, just as in his 

14 book on Rhetonc he insists on clearness above everything. 
In his letters he used to say 'Prosper' or 'Live well', 
instead of the conventional introduction ' Be happy '. 

Ariston in his Life of Epicurus says that he borrowed 
The Canon from the Trtpod of Nausiphanes, whose pupil 
he says he was, as well as being a disciple of Pamphilus 
the Platonist in Samos. He states that Epicurus began 
philosophy at the age of twelve, and was at the head of his 
School at thirty-two. 


'Eytvir^Orj be, <p7]<rlv ' A7iok\6bocpos iv XpoviKoZs, Kara rd 
rplrov Itos ttjs ivdrrjs Kal eKaroorrjs 6kvp.TTi6&os ivi 
10 '2<x><riytvovs &p\ovtos prjvbs yap.r]ki&vos ef3b6p.y, trta-iv 

15 Zarepov rfjs Ylkarawos Tekevrrjs tirrd. \ {nrdpxovra 8' avrbv 
ir&v bvo Kal TpiaKOvra Trp&rov iv MuriXTji^rj Kal Aafj.iff6.Ktp 
arvcrHja-acrffai <r^o\r]i/ iirl irr] ■ne'vre' tnetff ovrais els 'Afl^i/af 
pLerekOeiv, Kal Tekeirrrja-ai Kara ro beirepov efros ttjs ij3b6pris 

5 Kal elKoarrjs Kal eKaTOcrrrjs 6kvp.Tri6.bos t-nl UvBapdrov $tt\ 
fiu&aavra bvo rtpbs rots efiboprtKOvra- rrjv re (r^o\r)v bia- 
bt£acrdai "Eppxxpyov ' Ayepoprov Mvrikrjvaiov. rekevrrjvai fi' 
airbv kldtg r£ov ovpcav eincrxeQevroav, a!s c/S?j<ri Kal "Eppapyps 
iv iirio-Tokais, fip^pas voo-rirravra rerrapecrKa&fKa. 5re Kal 
10 (f>rjo-iv "Epumiros tufidvra avrbv els -niekov \dKKrjv KeKpa- 

16 pJvrfv vbaTL /cat alrr\(ravTa aKparov po<prjrraf | rots re 
<pl\ois trapayyelkavra rS>v boypdrutv pepinja-Oai, ovro> reAeu- 
rqo-ai. Kal Imiv r)p&v els avrbv ovrio- 

Xafpere Kal pip.vt](r6e ra bdypara. rovr '"EirlKovpos 
5 Zcrrarov elite <p£kois tovttos a-no(p8Lpevos. 

Bepp-qv is irveXov yap ikrjkvdeev Kal aKparov 
(o-TTacrev, elr' 'ACbrjv ifrvxpbv irsea-nda-aro. 
ovros pev 6 fiCos ravbpos, rjfBe (be) f/ rekevrrj. 
Kal bildcro <S5e- 


10 Kara rdbe b(ba>p.t. ra epavrov -ndvra ' Apvvopa\<^ 4>iAo- 
Kparovs Barijdev Kal TipoKpdrei Arjprjrplov ilorapitp Kara 

17 rr)v iv r<3 Mrjrp^cp ivayeypappivrfv eKarepy bdcrw, | i<ff <j5 Tf 
rbv pkv kt)tiov Kal ra itpoo-ovra avrS> TTap^ovtriv 'EppApx<f 
Ayepoprov MvrikTjvaC<p Kal rols o-vp<ptko<TO<povo-iv avrw Kal 
oTs av "Eppapyps KaTakiirrt biabd^pis rfjs <f>ikocro<pCas, ivbia- 

5 rpijieiv Kara. <f>ikoo-o<f>(av. Kal ael bk rols (pikoa-cxpovo-Lir airb 
fjpQv, 6tt(»s tiv o-vvbiaa-<io-(i)o-iv 'Ap.vvop.a'xv Ka ^ Ti/^OKp<4ret 

10 ifrb6pxi Usener: «'£8<tpj B J : f/38<J W r FPQH : om. B 1 
15 9 TtTrapttritaSibtKa B : rt atrapttTKaLbtKa. Q : rcrrapaKatbtKa FP' : 
TtrrapaaKalbtKa H 16 4-7 in Anthol. Pal. vii. 106 inclusum 

5 roftror Usener: npSyrot BFH: irp&rav PQ: ouriv f Anthol. 

6 l\nkiiO€tv Usener : t XvkrjSev ex e<r\v\r]0ev corr. B co-nkvfav PQH 
Anthol. Kai BPQH Anthol. : kq< t6v Ff 8 (bt) supplevit 
Stephanu3 17 3 'Aytfioprov Usener ex § 24 : aytpapxov libn 


He was born, says Apollodorus in the Chronicles, in the 
third year of the 109th Olympiad in the archonship of 
Sosigenes on the seventh day of the month Gamelion, 

15 seven years after the death of Plato. When he was thirty- 
two he started his school first for five years at Mitylene 
and Lampsacus and then he migrated to Athens. There 
he died in the second year of the 127th Olympiad in the 
archonship of Pytharatus, at the age of seventy-two. 
Hermarchus of Mitylene, son of Agemortus, succeeded to 
the headship of the school. Epicurus died of a stone in 
the bladder, as Hermarchus also says in his letters, after 
an illness of fourteen days. Hermippus tells us that as he 
was dying he got into a bronze bath filled with hot water, 
and asked for a cup of unmixed wine, which he gulped 

16 down. Then having adjured his friends to remember his 
teaching he expired. I have composed the following 
epigram on him : 

' Farewell, remember my sayings.' Thus spake at his 
death Epicurus, 
These the last words as he died spake he aloud to his 

Then in a hot bath he laid him, a goblet of wine he demanded, 
Quaffed it, and soon the cold air quaffed he of Hades below.' 

Such was Epicurus' life and such his death. 
His will was as follows: 


I hereby leave all my possessions to Amynomachus, son 
of Philocrates, of the deme of Bate, and Timocrates, son 
of Demetrius, of the deme of Potamos, according to the 

17 form of gift to each registered in the Metroum, on condition 
that they make over the garden and all that goes with it to 
Hermarchus, son of Agemortus, of Mitylene, and to those 
who study philosophy with him and to those whom Her- 
marchus may leave as his successors in the school, for 
them to live there in the pursuit of philosophy. And to 
those who hereafter follow my philosophy I assign the 
right to live in the garden, that they may assist Amyno- 


Kara ro bwarov, rr/v iv tg> Kr/iry btarpij3r\v irapaKararldepMi 
rots r airr&v Kktfpovoaois, iv (5 iv irore rp6n<p acrcpakio-rarov 
ff, oVcoy av K&Keti>(H btarrjpSicriv rov Krjrrov, KaOdirep Kal avrot 

loots hv ol and r)y.Stv <f>t\o<ro<povvres vapabCbaxriv. 

Tr/v b' olnLav ttjv iv MeXCrt] Ttapex^rwa-av 'AfAvvopjixps 
Kai T ip.OKparr)s evoiKetv 'EppiApxy Kal rols per avrov tf>iKocro- 
(ftovaw, ?cos av "Epp.apxos | 
*8 'E/c be tS>v yivop.evu>v Trpoa6b<j>v tS>v bebop.4v(av a<p' jjp.Q>v 

1 'Anvvofx&xV Kal Ti/jtoKpdret Kara rb bwarov p\epi.Qeo-Ouicrav 
IJLtO' 'Epudpxov o-KOTrov'p.evoi els re to ivaylcrpara rip re narpl 
Kal rfj p.r)rpi Kal rots dbeXtpoHs, Kal fipuv els ri]V eldLcrpJvrjv 
5 6.yeo-0ai yeve"6Mov f}p.4pav (k&cttov erovs rfj nporepq beKdrr) 
rov yapvrjkiwvos, &(nrep Kal eh rifv yivop\lvr\v cruvobov kKacrrov 
jxrjvbs rats eJ/cdcn tuiv <TV/j.<pi\oo-o<povvr«>v rjfuv els ri)V fjpi&v 
re Kal Mrjrpobdpov (jj.vrip.rjv) KaTarerayp.tvr]V avvreXeiTuto-av 
be Kal Ti]v rSiv abeX(f>S>v r}p.ipav rov irocretbewvos- trwreXeC- 

10 rcoaav be Kal rrjv l\o\vaivov rov p.eraytiTviG>vos, KaOdirep 
Kal fip.eTs. | 

19 'Emp.eXeia'daxrav bi Kal 'Ajj.vv6p.axos Kal Ttp-oKpirr)} rov 

viov rov ^Arjrpobwpov 'TL-niKOvpov Kal rov viov rov TloXvalvov, 
(pi\oo-o(povvT(i>v avrGiv Kal avC^vrcov jitf?' 'Epp.dpxov. <naavTu>s 
be rfjs Ovyarpbs rfjs Mrjrpobdpov rr)v etzi.p.iXeuLV TroieCcrdwcrav, 
5 Kal els TjXiKlav t\6ovo~av eKbdraxrav <2 av "Epp.apxos ^Xrjrai. 
rSiv <f>LXoo-o<povvrut>v J avroo, ovarrjs aiirrjs evr&Krov Kal 
Trei6apxovcrr)s 'Epp.dpx<i>. bLborcoaav be y Ap.vvop.axos Kal 
Tip.0KpaTr]s fjc rail' virapxovtrGiv fip.iv Trpoaobwv els Tpo<pr)v 
rovrots, 3 n av airoTs Kar' ivtavrbv irrtbex^^ai boKfj <tkottov- 
10 jabots j*e0' 'EppApxov. I 

ao Yloielo-Ocacrav be pieO' avrS>v Kal "Epp.apxov KvpLov rSiv 

irpoo-obmv, Iva /J.era rov o-vyKarayeyrjpaKOTos r)plv iv (piXo- 
ao<plq Kal KaraXeXeLp.p.evov f)yep.6vos rG>v o-vp.<pi\o<ro<povi>roov 
fipilv iKacrra y(vr)rat. rrjv he rspoiKa r!$ QwjXei Tiaihiio, erreibav 
5 els fiXiKlav e"X6r], p.epio-&Tu)(Tav 'Ap.vvopMxos Kal Tt/xoKpaTTj*, 

S af rroTc Tp6n<f Usener : &v anorptna) libn 9 burrrjp&aiv 

Usener : biarripfUv F : 6inr77pot«i llbr. cett IO 7rapa8io«criv 

BP'Q: Trapa8i8a>fri GHP* : irapabibuHTi F. rrapabSuriv Usener 
18 I a<j>] Up' Kochalsky 6 &cmtp Usener : SxxTt libn : in if 
Casaubon 8 (pvrjpijv) supplevit Aldobrandinus collate Cic. de Fin. 

il. 31. I OI KaraTfraypivriv] Karri (to) Tfrayfiiva Usener IO p*ra- 



machus and Timocrates to maintain it to the best of their 
power, and to their heirs, in whatever way may give the 
securest possession, that they too may preserve the garden, 
and after them those to whom the disciples of my school 
may hand it on. 

The house in Mehte Amynomachus and Timocrates 
shall assign for a dwelling to Hermarchus and to those 
who study philosophy with him, as long as Hermarchus 
shall live. 

18 The income of the property left by mc to Amynomachus 
and Timocrates shall be divided by them as far as possible, 
with the advice of Hermarchus, for the offerings in honour 
of my father and mother and brothers, and for the custo- 
mary celebration of my birthday every year on the tenth 
of Gamelion, and likewise for the assembly of my disciples 
which takes place on the twentieth of each month, having 
been established in recollection of myself and Metrodorus. 
Let them also keep the day of my brothers in Poseideon 
and the day of Polyaenus in Mctageitnion, as I have done 

19 Amynomachus and Timocrates shall take care of Epi- 
curus, the son of Metrodorus, and of the son of Polyaenus, 
provided they devote themselves to philosophy and live 
with Hermarchus. Likewise they shall take care of 
Metrodorus' daughter, and when she comes of age shall 
give her in marriage to one of his disciples whom Her- 
marchus shall choose, provided she is well-behaved and 
obedient to Hermarchus. Amynomachus and Timocrates 
shall set aside for the maintenance of these children such 
sum out of the revenues of my estate as shall seem good 
to them each year in consultation with Hermarchus. 

20 They shall give Hermarchus authority with themselves 
over the income, in order that everything may be done in 
consultation with the man who has grown old with me 
in the study of philosophy and has been left by me head 
of the school. The dowry for the girl, when she comes of 
age, shall be apportioned by Amynomachus and Timocrates, 

yttmavos FP 1 : fitraytiTvlavos B . neTaytirvianrros P'GH SO 2 ficra 
rov BP'QG : utr ainov FP'H : fortasse /ipt' auroG tov 



Scrov av imblxrirai airb t&v imapx^vrtov afpaipovvrts pera 
ttjs 'EppApxov yi><ipr)s. iiripifXtCo-Ocoaav bk Kal Nwcdwpos, 
Kadaittp Kal fifJifls, tv' Saoi t&v (ptXocro^ovvToov \ptlav 
iv tois Iblois traptcrxnuivoL Kal tt/v -nao-av olK(i6Trjra ivbe- 
10 beiypUvoi <TvyKa.Tayr) p.tff r)pa>v irpotlKovro iv <f>(Xo- 
<ro<p(q, prjdtvbs t&v avar/Kalatv ei>8eeis Ka6f.a~rr\KU>(n.v mapa 
rr)v f)p.eripav bvvapi.iv. | 

Aovvai bk ra /3i/3Aia ra virapxovra -navra 'Epp.Apx<f< 
iav b£ ti t&v avOptMrLviav ittpl "Eppuipxov yivrjrai, irpd tov tcl 
Mrjrpobdpov iraibla *is fjktKCav iXOtlv, bovvai ' 'Ap.vv6p.axov 
Kal TipioKparrj, 8rru>s av firraKTOvvT<ov ahr&v (navTa yivryrai 
5 t&v avayKaCaiv, Kara t6 bvvarbv airb t&v KaraA.eAel/xjx^vcov 
i<p' fjp&v tipo(r6bix>v. Kal t&v Xoltt&v airavTUiv 5>v avvTera- iiTip.(Xflo-$ooo-av, ottcos av Kara to ivbe%6p.evov l-icacrra 
yCyvrjrai. a$irip,i b\ t&v TtaCbaiv ikeudepov Mvv, NiKiaf, 
AvKtuva. CMplrfpu bi Kal <t>aCbpiov ikevdipav. \ 

*HStj hk TtkfvTav ypa<f>ei irpbs 'ISojueiVa rrjvbe iTncrroXriv 
Tr/r paKapLav ayovres Kal apa T(\evr&vres fjpepav rov j3iov 
iypa<f> ravrl' arpayyovpiKa rt TraprjKoXovdei Kal 
bvcreVTeplKU irdOr] virepfioKrjv ovk cnroKeCirovra tov iv eavrols 
5 p.ey£@ovs' airnrapeTaVrero bk tovtois to Kara \jrvxvv 
Xaipov iirl rfj t&v yeyovoru>v r) biaXoyicrp&v fxvjj/ijj. cri 
bk a£(a)s rrjs iK peipaKCov 7rapacmi(Tecos irpbs ip-k (tot (piko- 
crotpCav iiri.p.e\ov to>v irafooov Mr)Tpoba>pov. Kal biidero fxiv 

10 Ma0r}ras &rxf ttoWow, <r<pobpa bk iWoytpavs 
Mr]Tp6ba>pov 'AdrjvaCov fj Tip.oKparovs Kal Savfirj? Aapufra- 
K-qvov &s a<f>' ov tov &vbpa (yvu>, ovk anio-rr] &m avrov ttX^v 
l£ p.r\vS>v ds tt]v oIkcLov, lireira iitavr]\d(. | ytyove 8e ayaObs 
■navra, Ka6a Kal 'EirLKOvpos iv irpo^yovp-ivaii ypa<pais paprvpd 

1 1 napa Usener : ivi llbn 3I 2 yivrfrai F : ylvrjrat libr. cett. 
6 &p FPQH i>s BG 7 &v Usener ■ 3^ hbn 9 tktvOipav P'GH : 
tplay BF J P 1 Q : f\cv8epi<f Usener aa 2 rtX*v- 
Twvrfr] rtXfvraiap Davis ex Cic de Ftn. h. 30. 96 3 trapr)Ko\ov6ei 
Stephanus : iraprjKoKovBriKet llbn 7 (f>t\oa-o<f>iav { : <j)iKo(ro<plac hbn 

8 bUBtro Stephanus : HOcto hbn 11 'Adijyaiov Duening: adrfvalov 
hbn f{\ ko\ f TifiOKparovs Duenmg: TifioK/>a T ' FPQ : ti/*o- 



who shall take a suitable sum from the capital with the 
approval of Hermarchus. They shall also take care of 
Nicanor, as I have done, to show that those who have 
studied with me and have met my needs from their own 
resources and shown me every mark of friendship and 
elected to grow old with me in the study of philosophy, 
may not lack for anything that is necessaiy, as far as lies 
in my power. 

a 1 They are to give all the books that belong to me to 
Hermarchus. And if any mortal chance befall Hermarchus 
before Metrodorus* children come of age, Amynomachus 
and Timocrates shall as far as possible provide all that is 
necessary from the income of my estate, if the children 
are well-behaved. They shall carefully carry out all my 
other arrangements, so that each may be fulfilled as far 
as possible. Of my slaves I set free Mys, Nicias and 
Lycon, and I also set Phaedrium free. 

aa When he was on the point of death he wrote the 
following letter to Idomeneus : 'On this truly happy day 
of my life, as I am at the point of death, I write this to you. 
The disease in my bladder and stomach are pursuing 
their course, lacking nothing of their natural severity: but 
against all this is the joy in my heart at the recollection of 
my conversations with you Do you, as I might expect 
from your devotion from boyhood to me and to philosophy, 
take good care of the children of Metrodorus." Such then 
was his will. 

He had many disciples, but among the most distinguished 
was first Metrodorus, son of Athenaeus (or Timocrates) and 
Sande, of Lampsacus. From the time when he first came 
to know Epicurus he never left him, except when he went 
to his native city for six months, and then he came back 
23 He was a good man in all respects, as Epicurus too bears 
witness in prologues to his writings and in the third book 

Kpart)v BHf Saj/Srjr Usener : tavdqv libn : Kaan-avSpat coniecit 
Gompen 13 olxeiav Cobet : oUtav libn 33 2 navra BFP'Q 

Kara iravra P'H ypa(f>ais Usener : ypdtpei libn 


Kal iv rip rplTip TifioKpdrovs. toiovtos b' &>v Kal ttjv abe\<)>r)v 
Barfoa e£e'fioro 'Ifiojxevei, KaL Aedvriov ttjv 'Attiktjv kralpav 
5 &va\afio>v et)(e TraXXaKriv. r)v fie <cal aKaTdTrXrjKTOS irpds re 
ras 6\Xfja'(iS Kal rbv ddvarov, <os 'EttCkovpos iv r£ T7yj«r<j» 
MrjTpob&pov <prjcrC. <pao-l 8e Kal mpb kmh ir&v airod 
Tthevrrjo-ai -ntvTrjKoaTbv rpirov eVos Hyovra, Kal airrbs 'Eni- 
Kovpos iv rats irpoei.prjp*vais biadrjKais, <Ls irpoaireXriXvddTos 
10 avTov brjXovoTi, iTria-Krjvrei "ntpl rfjs iiripeXelas avrov t&v 
TraCbaiv. [«o"X e ^ Ka ^ TOV Trpoeiprjpivov elKaiov Ttva ahekcpbv rov 
MrjTpobwpov Ttp.OKpa.Trjv.] filfikla bi etrri roC MrjTpobdpov 
3 4 rafie- | Tlpds tovs laTpovs rpCa. Ilepl alo-dijaeiov. Upds 
Ti.p.0Kp&T7)v. Flepl pfyaXo\frv\Cas . Ilepl Trjs 'EiriKOvpov 
appmarCas. Upds tovs tiaXeKTLKovs. YIpbs tovs <ro<pi<rras 
ivvia. Hept Trjs Inl (ro<jtlav iropeiay. TIfpl rtjs peraftoXrjs. 
5 Tltpl ttXovtov. Tlpbs Arjp.oKpi.TO}>. Ylepl tvytveCas. 

*Hv Kal YloXvatvos 'Adrjvobt&pov AaptyaKrjvos, i-rruiKrjS Kal 
<pt\iKos, us' ol Trtpl <l>iX6br]jj,6v tj>a(Ti. 

Kal 6 biahe£ap.fvos avTov "Eppap\os 'AyepopTov MutiAtj- 
vaios, avijp irarpos pev TrivrjTOs, ras 8' d\p\as TTpotri)(u>v 
io prjTopiKois. <pe'perai Kal tovtov /3i/3/\£a KdXXtara Tdbc | 
25 'EirifrroAiKa ircpi ^EprrthoKXiovs eiKoai. Kal hvo. Tlfpl rS>v 
paOrjpdTiov. IJpoy T\XaTu>va. YIpbs ' ApurTOTiXrjv. ireXevTa 
Se TrapaXvcrti, yevoptvos tKavbs avrjp. 

AtovTevs re Aap\j/aKrjvbs opoiois Kal r) tovtov yvvrj QeplcrTa, 
5 Trpbs fjv Kal yiypaipzv 6 'Ettikovoos. 

"Eti re KtoAtirijs Kal '\bopevevs, Kal ovtoI Aap^raKrjvoi. 
Kal ovrot p.ii> iXXoyLpoi. cSu rjv Kal WoXvar paros 6 biade£d- 
pfvos "Eppap-^ov hv bifbi^aro Aiovvaios- bv Bao-iXeCdrji. 
Kal 'A7raXX6bit>pos 6' 6 KrjTioTvpavvos yiyovev iXXdyip.os, bs 
10 iirkp rerpaKo'o-ta o-vviypa\)/€ /3t/3Afa. bvo re IIroA€ju,aiot 
'AAefapfipeis, o re piXas Kal 6 XtVKOS' 7,rjvu>v re o 2i5ti)Pios, 
aKpoaTrjs ' AvoXXob<ipov, TroXvypd^os avrjp' Kal ArjprjTptos 6 
36 imKXrjdels AAkw | Atoy4vrjs re 6 Tapa-eiiy o ras eiriAeWcmr 

5 UKaTurrXrjKros Ff. dKaraAijTrror BPQH 8 (lyot^ra Casaubon : 

ayovrot FQH : uyov(i T€i) B* ay£> F II tcrxf 5i . . . 12 TipoKparrjv 
ut glossema secludendum suasit Usener 34 7 (^iXifcii] i^iXijKoor 
Cobet 35 2 pa$ripdr<BV Casaubon : pa8<]Ta>v libri 3 trapa- 

\v<m. Menagius • wapi Xwria libri 


of his Ttmocrates. Such was his character : his sister 
Batis he married to Idomeneus, and had for his own 
mistress Leontion the Athenian hetaera He was imper- 
turbable in the face of trouble and of death, as Epicurus 
says in the first book of his Metrodorus. They say that 
he died at the age of fifty-two, seven years before Epicurus, 
and of this Epicurus gives evidence, since in the will 
already quoted he makes provision for the care of his 
children, implying that he had already died. [He had also 
as a disciple Timocrates, Metrodorus' brother, who has 
been mentioned already/an aimless person.] Metrodorus' 
34 writings were as follows Three books Against the Physi- 
cians. About sensations. To Timocrates. Concerning Mag- 
nammtty. About Eptcurus' ill-health Against the Logicians. 
Nine books Against the Sophists Concerning the Path to 
Wisdom. Concerning Change. Concerning Wealth. Against 
Democrttus. Concerning Nobility of Birth. 

There was also Polyaenus, son of Athenodorus, of 
Lampsacus, a modest and friendly man, as Philodemus 
and his followers say 

Also Hermarchus, Epicurus' successor, son of Agemortus, 
of Mytilene, the son of a poor father, and at first a student 

25 of rhetoric His best books are said to be these twenty- 
two essays in the form of letters On Empcdoclcs. On Science. 
Against Plato Against Aristotle. He was a good man 
and died of paralysis. 

Likewise there was Leonteus of Lampsacus and his wife 
Themista, to whom Epicurus addressed one of his letters. 

Also Colotes and Idomeneus, both of Lampsacus. They 
too were distinguished, as was also Polystratus who suc- 
ceeded Hermarchus ; then followed Dionysms and after 
him Basihdes. Apollodorus the ' King of the Garden ' 
was also famous, and wrote over four hundred volumes 
There were also the two Ptolemies of Alexandria, the 
Black and the White, Zeno of Sidon, a pupil of Apol- 
lodorus, a prolific writer, Demetrius called the Laco- 

26 nian, Diogenes of Tarsus who wrote Selected Lessons, 



cr^o\as a-uy-ypAyf/as- Kal '£Lpla>v, Kal aXXot otis ol yv^trwi 

'EmKOtJpetot o-odnaray a-rroKaXovtriv. 

T Haw he nal aAAoi 'Errfoovpot rpeiy 3 re Acovr^ws vlds 

5 icat ©e/x&rray Hrepos Mdyi>7jy T^rapros o-nXofjLd\09. 

Tiyove be TioXvypa<pciraTos o 'ETj-fooupos, iraWas virep/3a\- 

Adjuevos -nXi^dei, f3Lj3XCa)v. KuKivbpoi fxev yap irpds rovs 

rpiaKOtrCovs fieri. yiypansrai be p.aprvpiov i£a>0ev iv avrols 

oibiv, &XX' avrov elcriv 'E-niKovpov <f>u>vaL iCfiXov be avrdv 

10 XpvtTimros iv TTo\vypa<f>(q, Kadd (prjcri Kapvedbrjs Trapdcrirov 

avrov t&v jiifiXlmv anoKaX&v " el yip rt ypd^ai 6 

a 7 'QnUovpos, (piAoretKtt rotrovrov ypdyjrai 6 Xpvanrnos' | Kal 

8ta rovro Kal tto\X6.kls tclvtcl y4ypacpe Kal to i-neXOov, Kal 

dbidpOcjra elaKf T<j> iireiyecrdai, Kal ra. p.aprvpia roeravrd 

itrriv 03s tKtCi>o)i> fxovoov ytfjLtiv ra. fitfiXCa, KuQd-nep Kal napa 

5 Zijvaivi iimv evpelv Kal Trapa 'ApiororeAei ". Kal ra avy- 

ypdpLyiara ptev 'ErniKOvpy Torravra Kal rr)XiKavra. Siv ra. 

fiiXricrra eart rdbe- Tlepl (pvtreais Af Ylepl aTouaiV Kal 

kcvov. Tlepl fputros. 'ETrwcyxr) tu>v npos rovs <pvctlkovs. 

Tlpbs rovs MeyapiKovs. Aiatroplai. Kvpiai 5d£at. Tltpl 

10 alpitrtuiv Kal <f)vyu>v. Tlepl reXovs. Tlepl KpirrjpCov t) 

Kava>v. Xaip4brip.os. Tlepl 6e&v. Tlepl v<tiott)tos. 'Hyjj- 

a 8 cndva£. Tlepl f3(o>v Tta-a-apa. j Tlepl biKaioirpaylas. NeoxAjJs 

■npos ®ep.(<rTav. Sitpnrdcrior. EvpvXo^os -npbs Mrjrpobwpov. 

Tlepl rod 6pa}>. Ylepl rf/s iv rf/ dro/zu yu>vlas. Tlepl ad>jjy. 

Tlepl Tlepl rraQSiv bo£ai irpbs TiiMOKpdrr]V. 

S TipoyvuxTTiKov. YlpoTpeTTTLKos. Tlepl elbcaXu>v. Tlepl cpav- 

rao-Cas. 'Ap«rrd/3ovAos. Tlepl p.ov(riKrjs. Tlepl biKaiocrvv7)s 

Kal twv dXXcov aperwv. Tlepl bojpcov Kal ^dpLTOf. EToAv- 

P-tj8tj?. Tip.oKpdTr)s a p y. MTjrpofiajpos a y b f« , Avrl- 

bcopos a §. Tlepl v6a-(nv b6£ai irpbs MiBpjjv. KaAAiorrfAas. 

10 ITepi fSacriKeCas. 'Ava£ip.4vtis. 'ETTtaroAa^. 

*A 8e avr<S 8o*e£ iv avrois, iK64<r6ai Treipd<ro/xai rpels 

itrtarokas avrov napaOep-evoi, iv als itacrav tt\v kavrov 

»6 5 rirapros] rpiros Cobet 9 avrov Cobet : afrai llbri 

12 4>tXov*tK(i] (<^i\ovttKft Casaubon 37 3 tlaKt Cobet : ciXm hbri 

10 (ftvyav Gassendi : Qvtcov hbri 38 9 vdatov Gassendi : v6rov 

libn 11 & Usener : pxav hbri awry Usener : aurarB 1 : airiM 
B a : din-ail' libr. cett. 



Orion, and others whom the genuine Epicureans call 

There were three other Epicuruses, the son of Leonteus 
and Themista, another, who was a Magnesian, while the 
fourth was a drill-sergeant 

Epicurus was a very prolific writer and exceeded all 
others in the bulk of his works, of which there are more 
than three hundred rolls. There is not in them one single 
citation from another author ■ it is all Epicurus' own 
words. Chrysippus tried to rival him in the amount of 
his writings, as Carneades tells us, calling him the parasite 
who fed on Epicurus' books. ' Whenever Epicurus wrote 
anything, Chrysippus felt bound in rivalry to write the 

37 equivalent ; and this is why he often repeats himself and 
says whatever occurs to him, and has left a great deal 
uncorrected in his hurry ; moreover, he has so many 
quotations that his books are filled with them and nothing 
else, a characteristic which one may observe also in the 
writings of Zeno and Aristotle.' Such are the numerous 
and important works of Epicurus, of which the best are the 
following- r. On Nature, thirty-seven books, 2. On atoms 
and void, 3. On Love, 4. Epitome of the books Against the 
Physicists, 5. Against the Megarians, 6. Problems, 7. Prin- 
cipal Doctrines, 8. On Choice and Avoidance, 9 On the End, 
10. On the Criterion, or The Canon, 11. Chaeredemus, 

38 12. On the Gods, 13. On Religion, 14. Hcgestanax, 15. On 
Lives, four books, 16 On Just Action, 17 Neocles, ad- 
dressed to Themista, 18. Symposium, 19 Eurylochus, 
addressed to Metrodorus, 20. On Vision, 21. On the 
comer in the atom, 22. On Touch, 23. On Fate, 24. On 
internal sensations, maxims addressed 10 Timocrates, 
25. Prognostic, 26. The Protreptic, 27. On images, 28. On 
perception, 29 Aristobulus, 30. On Music, 31. On Justice 
and the other Virtues, 32. On gifts and gratitude, 33. Poly- 
medes, 34. Timocrates, three books, 35. Metrodorus, five 
books, 36. Antidorus, two books, 37. On disease, maxims 
addressed to Mithras, 38. Callistolas, 39. On royal power, 
40. Anaxtmenes, 41. Letters. 

I will now endeavour to expound the doctrines which 
he sets forth in these works and will put before you three 


39 <f>iXoo-o<pCav iirtr4TiJir)Tai. J 9^rro/j.ev bi Kal ras KvpCas airov 
8<5£as Kal el ri ?bo$ev ^/cAoyrjs a£6os ave<p6iy\0aL, &otc tri 
iravTay66ev Karafxadeiv rbv avbpa k&v Kpivew elbivai. rr\v 
fxiv ovv TTpd>Tr\v lirurroXriv ypa<f>ei Trpds 'Hpo&orcw (tj ris ecrri 
5 -nepl rS>v (pvcrtK&v rrjv be bevripav irpbi fluffo/cAea) rj rty 
4<ttI irepl ra>v fxerap<riw tt]V TpCrrjv irpos Mow/cea, 2 art 8* 
iv avrfj ra nepl jilwv. apKTeov hrj airb T?Jy Ttpdrrjs, dXlya 
irpoetit6vTa -nepl ttjs Statp^trecos rijs /car' avrbv <f>iXorro<pCas. j 

30 Atatpetrai roiwv «ts TpCa, to re KavoviKov /cat tpvcrtKov /cat 
■})Qik6v. to fxev ovv navoviKw ecfiooovs em ttjv Trpayp,aTeiai> 
fx (l ' Ka ' ioTiv iv kvl r<5 iTTiypa(popLev<o Kavtiv. to be 
<f>v<riKov ti]V Ttepl <f>vo~eti>s 6eu>p(av traa-av, Kal i(rrtv iv rats 

5 ITept <f>iWcos /3t/3Aoiy Af Kal rats eTrtcrroAats Kara trrotxetof. 
r^ Se r) Ta Ttepl axptrrews Kal <j>vyrfS' tern. be iv Taii 
Ylepl f3lu>v /3(/3Aoty Kal emtrToXais ko.1 t& Ylepl t4Xovs. 
eldOarri fxevToi to KavoviKov 6p.ov r<2 (pvatKto TaTTeiv. 
KaXovo-i b' avTo nepl KpiTr\pLov Kal ap\iis, Kal crrotxetwt/coir 
10 to be <pv<riKov -nepi yevi<Te(os Kal <f>6opas, Kal -rrepl <pvo-«coy 
to be r)diKov Ttepl atperuiv Kal (f>evKTS>v, oral irepl jiiinv /cat 
riXovs. I 

31 T^v biaXeKTLKrjv £>s napiXKOvtrav a.TTt>boKipi.aCovcriv. apKtlv 
yap Toiis cpucrt/coi/s ^copfti' Kara tovs tS>v -npayp-aTw <f>06y- 
yovs. iv Toivvv tQ> Kavovi Xtyatv larlr 6 'EirfooDpo? 
Kpirqpia tt/s aXrjdeias etvai rus atrrtfjjcreis /cat -npoXityei'i 

S /cat ra TrdOrj- ol 8' 'E7rt/coi5peiot /cat ras <f>avTa<rriKas e7rt/3oAas 
Tjjs buxvotas. Xeyei be Kal (avros) ei> rj) 7rpos" 'HpoboTov 
iTUTop.rj /cat ev rats Kupi'ats 60'^ats. Tracra ydp, cpijcrtV, 
ala-drims aXoyos ecrri Kal pLvrjp,rjs ovdepuas htKTiKrp ovre yap 
v<l> avTys KU-'elrat, ovre info' eT^pov KivrjOelaa bvvarai ti 
10 Trpo<r6ewai rj a<f>eXelv. oiibe eerrt to bvvap.evov aiirtis 8ie- 
3 3 A^y^af | owe yap rj opioyevris ai(r0rjcns ri/D dfioyevrj bia rr)V 
la-oarOe'vetav ov6' f) a.vop.oye'veia rr]V avop.oyiveiav, ov yap 

39 3 jcSk Usener : xdjue hbn 4 7 nt ... 5 UvdoKXea adiecit 

Usener 30 5 Kara a-Toixtlov] KaTtaroixt laptvov coniecit Usener 
7 km nj> Usener: ral to> Ff Kai to 13PQH : Kat iv t<u Meibom 
31 4 icai 7rpoAi)^<if] ical Tas 7rpoXi)^fis Gassendi, fortasse recte 
6 (avr&s) coniecit Usener . om libn 9 vcp" airfit F : tnr' avrrjt 
P* : car avTrjs BP'QH bvvarai Gassendi : d&vvaTti hbn 

33 I 6fioy(vr)s senpsi : ifioytvtia libn ofioyevfl BFP'Q: opo- 

yivttav P'H 


of his letters, in which he has abridged his whole philo- 
ag sophy. I will also give you the Principal Doctrines, and 
a selection from his sayings which seem most worthy of 
mention. You will thus be able to understand Epicurus 
from every point of view and could form a judgement on 
him. The first letter he writes to Herodotus (and it deals 
with Physics ; the second is to Pythocles), and it deals 
with Celestial Phenomena ; the third is to Menoeceus, and 
contains the moral teaching. We must begin with the first 
letter, but I will first speak briefly about the divisions of 
his philosophy. 

30 It is divided into three parts, the Canonicon (or Proce- 
dure), the Physics and the Ethics. The Canonicon gives 
the method of approach to the system, and is contained in 
the work called The Canon. The Physics contains all the 
investigation into nature, and is contained in the thirty- 
seven books On Nature and in an abridged form in the 
letters. The Ethics deals with choice and avoidance, and 
is contained in the books On Lives and the letters and the 
book on The End. The Epicureans usually group the 
Canonicon with the Physics and state that it deals with 
the criterion of truth and the fundamental principles and 
contains the elements of the system. The Physics deals 
with creation and dissolution and with nature ; the Ethics 
with things to be chosen or avoided, with the conduct ol 
life and its purpose. 

31 Logic they reject as misleading. For they say it is 
sufficient for physicists to be guided by what things say of 
themselves. Thus in The Canon Epicurus says that the 
tests of truth are the sensations and concepts and the 
feelings; the Epicureans add to these the intuitive appre- 
hensions of the mind. And this he says himself too 
in the summary addressed to Herodotus and in the 
Principal Doctrines. For, he says, all sensation is irra- 
tional and does not admit of memory ; for it is not set in 
motion by itself, nor when it is set in motion by something 

3a else, can it add to it or take from it. Nor is there anything 
which can refute the sensations. For a similar sensation 
cannot refute a similar because it is equivalent in validity. 


r&v avrStv flcrt KpirtKaC- aire p.r)v \6yos, iras yap \6yos avb 
r&v al<T0T)(r€O}V yprr/raf ovd' r) krlpa rr)v irdpav, ird<rcus 

5 yap npocrtypp.iv. Kai rb ra tiraiaO^naTa 6' wptordvat 
TTLOTOvrat rr/v rutv alo-fryo-eaw aAqOfiav. v(f>4<m}Ke be r6 re 
bpav ripjas Kai anoveiv, uxrirep rb bWyeiv. 80ev Kai nepl rStv 
abrfXmv and tG>v q^aivopJvcov \prf o~rjp.etovo-0ai. Kai yap Kai 
iirtvoiat nao-ai aitb r&v alo-0rio-ea>v yeyovatri Kara re 

10 ircplTrraicrw Kai avaXoyCav Kai o/xoio'ri/ra Kai <rvv0eaw, 
aup-IBaWonivov ri Kai rov \oyio-px>v. ra re r&v fiaivoiLtvw 
<pavrdo-p.ara Kai (ra) xar' ovap a\rjdrj, Kivei ydp- rd be nrj Sv 
oi Kivti. \ 

33 Trjv be rrp6hr\\\nv ktyovcriv olovd KardXrj\jnv tj bd£av 6p0r\v 
r) ivvoiav r) KadoKiKtjv vorja-iv eva-noK€ip,£vr)V, rovriart fx.vrjp.t)v 
rov itoAAokis H£<i>&ev (pavivros, oTov rb Totovrov icrrtv &v0pa>- 
7Tos - &p.a yap rS> pr]0rjvac avOponros evOvs Kara itpoXrjtfyw 

5 Kai 6 rviros avrov voeirat Trpor)yovp.£va>v rS>v alo-0rjo-eu>v. 
TTavrl ovv rb npwrcas vttorerayp.e'vov Ivapyls eari. Kai 
ovk av i^r)rrj<rap.ev rb Crjrovp.fvov, el p.rj irp6repov iyvwKei- 
p.ev avrb- olov Tb iroppco ecrru>s Tttitos ia~rlv rj /3oCy 8el yap 
Kara -npokri^iv iyvasK&vai wore fatnov Kai /3o6s fiopcprfv. oiib' 
io av vvopiacraixiv ri p.r) irp6repov avrov Kara TrpoXtj^nv rbv 
ruisov /xaOovres. evapyeTs ovv el<ra> at irpoXiplreLs. 

Kai rb bo£aarbv anb irporipov nvbs ivapyovs rjprrirai, i<p" 
b ava<p£povres Xiyop,ev olov Yl60ev Xo-p-ev el rovrd io-nv 

34 av0pu>wos; j tjjv be bo£av Kai vrroX-q-^iiv Xiyovffiv, oXtjOt} re" 
q^aai Kai •v/reufi?; - &v p&v yap imu,aprvprirat r) pvr\ &VTtp,aprv- 
prjrai, &Xr]0Tf eivav iav be pi/ iiriiiaprvp-qrat r/ avrtfiapnuprfrai, 
•\frev5fj rvyx&veiv. 5dcv (rb) irpo<rp.lvov cJcttjx^tj' otov rb 

5 ■npoo-fifivai Kai eyyvs yevlo-dai Vy irvpyto Kai p.aOelv ovoToi 
iyyvs <paCverai. 

3 fieri KptriKai FP'H : fls Kprnnov P'Q : eh KptriKwv B 4 fjpnjrai 
Aldobrandinus . tiprjrai llbri 5 *nai<r0qpara B(P')Q : avtiraC- 

■o-Orfia FP'H 12 (to) supplevit Casaubon 33 6 vnortray- 

pivov Gassendi : IniTfraypivov hbn 34 4 (tS) addidit Gassendi 



nor a dissimilar a dissimilar, for the objects of which they 
are the criteria are not the same ; nor again can reason, 
for all reason is dependent upon sensations ; nor can one 
sensation refute another, for we attend to them all alike. 
Again, the fact of apperception confirms the truth of the 
sensations. And seeing and hearing are as much facts as 
feeling pain. From this it follows that as regards the 
imperceptible we must draw inferences from phenomena. 
For all thoughts have their origin in sensations by means 
of coincidence and analogy and similarity and combination, 
reasoning too contributing something. And the visions of 
the insane and those in dreams are true, for they cause 
movement, and that which does not exist cannot cause 

33 The concept they speak of as an apprehension or right 
opinion or thought or general idea stored within the mind, 
that is to say a recollection of what has often been pre- 
sented from without, as for instance * Such and such 
a thing is a man ' - for the moment the word ' man ' is 
spoken, immediately by means of the concept his form too 
is thought of, as the senses give us the information. 
Therefore the first signification of every name is imme- 
diate and clear evidence. And we could not look for the 
object of our search, unless we have first known it. For 
instance we ask ' Is that standing yonder a horse or a 
cow ? * . to do this we must know by means of a concept 
the shape of horse and of cow. Otherwise we could not 
have named them, unless we previously knew their appear- 
ance by means of a concept. So the concepts are clear 
and immediate evidence. 

Further, the decision of opinion depends on some 
previous clear and immediate evidence, to which we refer 
when we express it : for instance, How do we know 

34 whether this is a man ? Opinion they also call supposition, 
and say that it may be true or false : if it is confirmed or 
not contradicted, it is true ; if it is not confirmed or is con- 
tradicted, it is false. For this reason was introduced the 
notion of the problem awaiting confirmation : for example, 
waiting to come near the tower and see how it looks to the 
near view. 

L a 

i6 4 


Uddrj be kiyovcriv etvai bio, ribovrjv Kal aKyr)b6va, io~rA.p.eva 
irepl nav £&ov, Kal rr\v p.ev oliceiov, rrjir be &XX6rpiov bi &v 
Kplveo-Oai ras alpeVeiy koI <pvy6.s. tQv re <|7jr?jcre<«>z> eivai ras 
10 fxev irepl tS>v T:payp,i.T(3>v, ras 8e ttepl \/uXt;z> rrjv (fxoirqv. Kai 
Tavra be irepl tt}s BiaipeVecos Kai rov KpirrjpCov crroixeicob&s. 

'Avirtov bi iirl rr)i> eVi.crToA.7ji/. 

Sequttur eptstola ad Herodotum. 

83 Kal ijbe p.iv eariv avr<5> (iria-roKr) irepl t&v <pvo~\.KU>v irepl 

be r&v pereaipoov ijbe. 

Sequttur eptstola ad Pythoclem. 
Tavra airui Kai irepl r&v p.erea>poov 8o/cei* | ntpl bi r&v 
/3uon/ca>i>, Kal oirais xPV Ta f^" Was alpeurOat, ra 8' €K<ptv- 
yew, ovrwcrl ypacpei. Ylporepov be bie\6cop.ev & re avrai 
SoKei irepl rov aoqbov Kal rots air' airov. /3A.d/3as e^ 
5 avdpdirwv rj bia p,l(ros f) bia <pdovov tj bia Karacppovrjo-w 
yCvecrdai, S>v rov <ro<pdv Xoyurp.& irepiyiveo-Oai. aAAa Kal 
rdv &Tra$ yevop.evov aocpbv p.r)Kiri rr\v ivavrCav \ap.(3dveiv 
bidOetriv joiTjSe 7rA.drreu> e/coVra. irddecri pJiWov o-vo-yeQi)- 
o-e<r9ai, (o) ovk av ip/irobCo-ai irpbs rt]V (rorplav. oibe pr\v ex 
10 TrdcrTjs crtiJ/jiaros <-£ea>s aotybv yeviaOai av ovb' iv iravrl iOvei. | 
118 Kav <rrpe{3\ti>Qrj b' 6 erodes eivai airbv evbaCp-ova. pjovov re 
y&piv $£tiv rov <ro(pov, Kal iirl duAois Kal irapovcri Kal airovaiv 
6po(a>s biare(\eiv) exikoyovvra. ore fxevroi (rrpeflKovrai, (v$a 
Kal p<v£ei Kal oZ/xoofei. ywauci re ov p.iyt)o-ecrQai rov <^od>^^■ 
5 ol vop.01 airayopevovaiv, toy <\yqa-i AioyeVr/y iv r»j iiriropy 
rSyv 'EiriKoipov rjdiK&v boyp,a.Ta>v. ovbe Ko\&<rciv oiKiras, 
^Aerjcreii' pAvroi Kal o-vyyvu>pr\v nvl H^eiv t&v cnrovbatwv. 
ipacrOrja-to-Qai rov (ro<pbv ov 80/cei avroXs, ovbe ratpijs <f>pov- 
rtelv. ovbe 6e6-nep.iTT0v etvai rov ipu>ra, its Aioy4irqs ev tS> 
10 . . . ovbe ptfTopevo-fiv /caAws. o-vvovo-Ct] bi, tpatrCv, &vr)<re 

11 8f] bq coniecit Usener 117 3 3 « ady] A avr<p rt ex- 

spectandum notavit Usener 8 nd&ecrt] nd6«r( (juti) Bignone 

^aXXov] /j.t)v Usener : as) nXXov Kochalsky 9 (4) addidit 

Kochalsky 118 3 SiaTi(Xtu') evkoyovvra. ore Kochalsky : 81a 

Tf libn : 68ovxore B 1 : 6d' ov* ore B" • odov x' or* Q : oboi. 3r<r P • 
Stfov. &rc FH : \6yov (xal Sih ir pastas Uvcu) ore Usener 4 ftvfci 

FP* . pvCti BP»Q oi'pi£« FP 3 QH . ol^i B : olp*> . « P 

6 oiibi Usener : o0r« llbn 7 t&v tnrov&aiav F : top <nro\jbaiov 


The internal sensations they say are two, pleasure and 
pain, which occur to every living creature, and the one is 
akin to nature and the other alien : by means of these two 
choice and avoidance are determined. Of investigations 
some concern actual things, others mere words. This is 
a brief summary of the division of their philosophy and 
■ their views on the criterion of truth. 
Now we must proceed to the letter. 

83 Such was his letter on Physics : then follows his letter 
on Celestial Things. 

116 Such was his teaching on things celestial. As regards 
" 7 the principles of living and the grounds on which we 
ought to choose some things and avoid others, he writes 
the following letter. But before Considering it let us 
explain what he and his followers think about the wise 
man. Injuries are done by men either through hate or 
through envy or through contempt, all of which the wise 
man overcomes by reasoning. When once a man has 
attained wisdom, he no longer has any tendency contrary 
to it or willingly pretends that he has. He will be more 
deeply moved by feelings, but this will not prove an 
obstacle to wisdom. A man cannot become wise with 
every kind of physical constitution, nor in every nation. 
118 And even if the wise man be put on the rack, he is happy. 
Only the wise man will show gratitude, and will constantly 
speak well of his friends alike in their presence and their 
absence. Yet when he is on the rack, then he will cry out 
and lament. The wise man will not have intercourse with 
any woman with whom the law forbids it, as Diogenes says 
in his summary of Epicurus' moral teaching. Nor will he 
punish his slaves, but will rather pity them and forgive any 
that are deserving. They do not think that the wise man 
will fall in love, or care about his burial. They hold that 
love is not sent from heaven, as Diogenes says in his . . . 
book, nor should the wise man make elegant speeches. 

BPQH IO avvovalrj Se FP'H 1 : trvvovcrittv fit B : avvovaaf 
Q: truvovtrirjv Sf Usener aJyijo-f] dvijirni Usener 


p&r ovbi-nort, ayairryrbv 8e d p.r) Kai «?/3\ai/re. \ nal p.r)v kcu 
yaprja-eiv xal TfKvo-novqaeiv rbv o-o<j>6v, £>s 'EttCkovpos iv rais 
AumopCais nal iv rdis I7epi cpi/crecos. Kara •neptarao't.v bi 
irore fi(ov yaftri<Teu>. nai SiaTpairqcreo-daC rivas, ovbe p.r)v 

5 ivrjpedo-eiv iv p46r\ q^rtuiv 6 'Eir^KOiipos iv rcj> 'Svpi.iTOtrhp. 
oibi TrokiT€V<T(Tai £>s iv rp Trptirr] Ilepi fiCoov ovbe rvpav- 
veiaeiv ovbe KWielv, cos iv rfj bevripq Ilepi /SCoov oi8e 
■nrui-Xevtreiv. aWa. Kai 7r»jpco0eiy rots <3tye« (ov) /mer(aAA)cl£ei 
avr6v tov [3Cov, cbs iv rf avrfj <p?j<u. Kai Xwrrjo-ea-Oai be rbv 
ao<f>6v, <Ls Aioyivrji iv rfj e rcou liriA.^/cr<oi>. | Kai bindcrea-Oai. 
Kai cnr/ypappara KaTaXeC\f/et.v ov Travr)yvpi.eiv 8e\ Kai KTTjcrecos 
TTpovorjo-Mrdat. Kai tov peWovros. q^iXayprjo-eiv. TVXV Tf 
avTird^etrdaL, qbl\ov re ovbiva irpoTjcreo-ffat.. evdo£(as iivi 

5 Tocrovrov TTpovoi']<T((rdaL, ecp' So-ov prj KaTa<ppovrja-eo-6aL. 
yxSAAoV re ei(ppai>6rjrr((T0ai rS>v &XKu)V iv rais OetupLais. \ 
elKovas re avadr/aeiv el fya, dfitatpopcoy av cryoLr). povov re 
tov cro<f>bv opOSis av TsepLre pLOvaiKrjs Kai woirjTucjjs bt,aAe£ao-6ai, 
TTOffipLard. re ivepyeiq ovk &V Troirjo-ai. ovk elvai re Hrepov 
hrlpov (ro(f>a>Tepov. xP r it kaT ^ afcr ^ a ^ Te > <* lro p-dvrjs <ro<pLas, 

5 ajropTja-arra. Kai povapjipv iv Kaipy departevcreiv. Kai 
ivtxaprfo-to-dal tivi ii:i rco bi.opGwpM.Ti. Kai ar^oXriv Kara- 
o-Ktvacreiv, aA\' ovx coo-re <5)(.\aya>y?j<ra(,- Kai avayvdo-ea-dai 
iv irXij^et, M oii^ eKovra' boypaneiv Kai ovk aTroprjo-etv. 
Kai KaO' vttvovs be op.ot.ov ZaeaBai, Kai virep q^lXov Ttore 
io redvri£ecrdai. 

[To e£r}s] boKti 8' avroii | ap.apTrjp.ara &vi<ra etvai. Kai tt\v 

Iig 5 imfptdtrttv scnpsi : ■nipqcrtu' libn (rijpqiTiv P 1 ) • \ijpqo-*w 
C. F. Hermann : rijpij(<rtf Kotrpiov ptBrfj&fiv (v pc6tl Kochalsky 

8 Trr)pa>6t\s PQF : irvptaOfis B : «r . fw>6cis H (oi) supplevi : nfraX- 
Xaf« scnpsi: pfrdgei PQF. ptrffri B: period (sc. ptrl&iv) H: 
pt0t£*u> f: KaTaftoI Usener : /«r' (drapafiar) i£a£ei Kochalsky 

9 aire)*] atrov Usener, Kochalsky tov jSi'oy scnpsi : roi) /3*ou hbn 
\viri)<rt<r8ai BP'Q. XvnT)d^at<r8at FP'H ISO* I SiKacrfcr&ai f . 
*t«cdcrao-5a« BFPQH 4 dn-crti^eo-tlac H*f : ovTirdfacrflai BFPQH 1 

iXov BPQH : c/hXcdv F . <pt'\i;v Usener «] yap Usener oiScva 
H: oMcr P'QF trpofj<rea-0at Bignone : KTtjoecrdai llbn . (djro)«ri;- 
treadat Kochalsky iai b <iV<4i/af re . . . 3ok»; 8' aurolr totum 

hunc locum ex §121 hue transferendum docuit Bignone I ante 
tl ix° l lacunam indica vit Usener : in notis irkovrov vel re Kva supplevit ; 
ahajmi/ Kochalsky <rx°'V Kuhn : o-yoi'ijr libri 2 diaXefao-cJui 

FQH* : 8iaXe'£tcr0ai BPH 1 3 re] 8c Kochalsky ivtpytl^ Usener : 
ivepytiv llbri ovk elvai SambllCUS : oIk iivtt re B ; ov Ktvtirai 


Sexual intercourse, they say, has never done a man good, 
and he is lucky if it has not harmed him. 
119 Moreover, the wise man will marry and have children, as 
Epicurus says in the Problems and in the work on Nature. 
But he will marry according to the circumstances of his life. 
He will feel shame in the presence of some persons, and 
certainly will not insult them in his cups, so Epicurus 
says in the Symposium. Nor will he take part in public 
life, as he says in the first book On Lives Nor will he act 
the tyrant, or live like the Cynics, as he writes in the second 
book On Lives. Nor will he beg. Moreover, even if he is 
deprived of his eyesight, he will not end his whole life, as 
he says in the same work. Also the wise man will feel 
grief, as Diogenes says in the fifth book of the Miscellanies. 

iao 1 He will engage in lawsuits and will leave writings behind 
him, but will not deliver speeches on public occasions. 
He will be careful of his possessions and will provide for 
the future. He will be fond of the country. He will face 
fortune and never desert a friend. He will be careful of 
his reputation in so far as to prevent himself from being 
despised. He will care more than other men for public 

iai h spectacles. He will erect statues of others, but whether 
he had one himself or not, he would be indifferent. Only 
the wise man could discourse rightly on music and poetry, 
but in practice he would not compose poems. One wise 
man is not wiser than another. He will be ready to make 
money, but only when he is in straits and by means of his 
philosophy He will pay court to a king, if occasion 
demands. He will rejoice at another's misfortunes, but 
only for his correction. And he will gather together a 
school, but never so as to become a popular leader. He 
will give lectures in public, but never unless asked ; he 
will give definite teaching and not profess doubt. In his 
sleep he will be as he is awake, and on occasion he will 
even die for a friend. 

iao" " They hold that faults are not all of equal gravity, that 

FPQH : ov iavfia8ai Usener 7 oxkayioyTitrai BPQH : <rxo\ayu>- 
F 8 ficrfwa FP» : tKu>v BP'QH 11 t6 ($fjs ut indicium 
ad Hbrarium scnptum seclusit Bignone iao b 1 ante i-iiaprtfuara 
Cobet tA supplevit, rd n Karop6i>fuiTa kw. ri Usener 



tyleiav rtcrt uiv aya66v, rwt be ibiacpopov. rt\v be avbpeiav 
(pvaei. fx)) ybeadai, Aoyi<r/xy be rod o-vpupipovros. Kal rijv 
<pi\Cav bta rets xpeCav beiv p-ivToi irpoKaT&pxeo-Qai (k<xi yap 
5 t^v yr\v a-nelpop.ev), crvvCaTacrdai be avrriv Kara Kowioviav iv 
121 * rots rats fj&ovals iicnfTr\rip<i>pi(£vois). | ttjv evbatpAvlav btxft 
voelcrOal, tt\v re aKpoT&rrjv, ota larl nepl rbv deov, iirCracriv 
ovk fxpvcrav Kal ttji> (xara ttjv) Trpocr6riKr)v Kal atpaCpecriv 
fjbov&v. p-eririov be inl rrjv iTTivTokrjv. J 

Sequitur eptstola ad Menoeceum. 

•35 7 MavriKTfv 8' a-rraa-av iv &\Xois avaipei, cos (cat iv tji p.iKpq 
iiriTOfifj. Kal cp-qtrt- fiavriK-q ovcra av6~na.pK.TOS, el Kal virapKTri, 
ovbev Trap' ^|xas Tjyr)ria ra ytvop.eva' rocravra (cat ir*pt tu>v 
filasriK&v Kal iirl irAe£u> bteC\eKTal aAAaxo#t | 

136 A.tacpe'peTai be npbs rotis KvprjvaiKovs ire pi rrjs fibovrjs. 
ol piiv yap TTjv (caracrr(]/iart(c?/i; ovk iyKpLvovai, p.6vr)v b\ tt/v 
iv Kivrjcrei. be ipeporepa (ra yevrj) i/fux^js tat rrtopiaTos, cos 
(prjcriv iv ru Ylepl alpt'o-ems Kat <pvyr)s Kal ev rfi Tlepl Tt'Aous 

5 /cat iv a Ilepl f3Cu>v (cat iv rrj irpbi tovs iv ^AvTiXrivp tpC\ovs 
tma-ToXfi. opoltos be (cat Aioytvrjs iv rfj l£ raw iirikiKTOiv 
(cat MTjrpo'Scopoy ev rip Tip.OKpA.TfL Keyovaui oii'rco- Noov^injs 
be rjbovrjs tj/s re Kara kLvyictiv (cat rf/s (caracrr7j/^ari(C7/s. 6 be 
'EnlKOvpos iv ra> Ilepl alpetrecov ovtiu Ae'yef 'H p.ev yap 
10 arapa£(a Kal airovia KaraarquaTLKaC elaiv rjhovaL' f) be X a P a 
Kal 17 ev(f>po<rvvr} Kara kCvi)<tlv ivepyeCa {3\eirovTai. [ 

137 *Eri irpus tovs K.vprjvai,KOvs' ol p.ev yap \eLpovs ras o-iop.a- 
rt(cas dhyrjbovas tg>v \jrvxLKmi', KoA.d([€o-c9ai yovv rov? auapra- 
vovras crcojaarf b be ras i/rvxtKay tt\v yovv rr&pKa to irapdv 
p.6vov \fipi6,Cfiv, rrjv be y)rv)(riv (cat rb TrapeXdbv Kal to napov 

5 (cat to fieWov ovtws ovv Kal ue[(ovas r/hovas elvat rrjs 

5 iv toU ralf BP'Q : iv rais FP'H : pfyicrrais Usener 6 <K7rc- 
n\r)ptDiiivots Blgnone : eKTrtTrXr/pav P J Q : iKTrtir\r]pS>v B om, FP'H : 
fKirtn\t)papivr)v Usener 135 7 fuxpa] naKpif Gassendi 9 wap' 
jua;] irpor f/pMi Meibom : rrap(a to trap') r/pas Blgnone rjyrjria ret 
Usener : fiyrjrd B 1 : rjyij ra FPQH : tjyrjrtof ra Meibom • rjyov ra 

Cobet : fjSrj ra Gassendi 136 3 afviportpa] dptporepav Meibom : 
apepottpas Gassendi ra yivq supplevit Blgnone : crx^para Kochalsky : 
lacunam indicavit Usener 5 c/xXovr] (piXotrcUpovc Gassendi 

8 dt] dixas comecit Usener 137 5 rrjr] (jae) rtjs Cobet 


health is a blessing to some, but indifferent to others, that 
courage does not come by nature, but by a calculation of 
advantage. That friendship too has practical needs as its 
motive: one must indeed lay its foundations (for we sow 
the ground too for the sake of crops), but it is formed and 
maintained by means of community of life among those 
wi* who have reached the fullness of pleasure. They say also 
that there are two ideas of happiness, complete happiness, 
such as belongs to a god, which admits of no increase, 
and the happiness which is concerned with the addition 
and subtraction of pleasures. Now we must proceed to 
the letter. 

135 In several works he rejects all kinds of prophecy, and 
specially in the Shorter Summary He says, ' Prophecy 
does not exist, and even if it did exist, things that come 
to pass must be counted nothing to us'. So much for 
his theory of morals, which he has discussed more fully 

136 Epicurus differs from the Cyrenaics about pleasure. 
For they do not admit static pleasure, but only that which 
consists in motion. But Epicurus admits both kinds both 
in the soul and in the body, as he says in the work on 
Choice and Avoidance and in the book on The End of Life 
and in the first book On Lives and in the letter to his 
friends in Mytilene. Similarly, Diogenes in the 17th book 
of Miscellanies and Metrodorus in the Timocratcs speak 
thus : ' Pleasure can be thought of both as consisting in 

v motion and as static'. And Epicurus in the work on 
Choice speaks as follows : ' Freedom from trouble in the 
mind and from pain in the body are static pleasures, but 
joy and exultation are considered as active pleasures 
involvmg motion '. 

*37 A further difference from the Cyrenaics : they thought 
that bodily pains were worse than those of the soul, and 
pointed out that offences are visited by bodily punishment. 
But Epicurus held that the pains of the soul are worse : 
for the flesh is only troubled for the moment, but the soul 
for past, present, and future. In the same way the plea- 


^vxjjS' airobe(£ti bi yprjrai. rov ri\os elvau ttiv fjbovi\v to\ 
fitpa H/Jta rip ytvvriOTjvai rfj fx\v fiapeoTcl<r6ai, t$ bi ir6v<f 
irpoGKpvutw <\>v<Tut&s itol )(a>p\$ K6yov. avroTradas ovv 
ifxvyopfv ttji; akyqbova' tva koI 6 'HpaKArjs Karaj3i/3pco<rico- 
io fxevos vnb rov -^trStvos /3oq 

baKpHaiv lv£cov &/j.<pl 8' Zorevov Tr^rpot, 
AoKp&v t Speioi Trp&vcs Evfiolas t lutpai. | 
138 Aim 8e tt\v fjbovrjv koa ray £p«ras alpeicrdai, ov 81' avra's, 

&o~irep ttjv £arp«T/i> bta. ttjv vyUiav Ka6a <pij<rt Kai Aioy4irt}s 
iv rfj k tG>v iTTikiKTa>v, bs Kal biaymyqv Kiyti rr\v aytnyqv. 
6 8' 'EnCnovpos koI ax&pio-rov <p*)<rt tjjs -qboviji tt\v aptrijv 
5 fiovrjv ra 8' &\\a xa>pC£tcrOai, olov (Bpuird. 

Kal cp^pf ovv br) vvv rov Ko\o<pcava, as av ftnot, ny, Kal rov -navrbs criryypafip.aTOS Kal rov {3iov rov 
(pikocr6cf>ov, ray KvpCas avrov bo£as -napaOefxtvoL Kal rauraiy 
to trav <rvyypap\}ia KaraKXtto-avrts, ri\ft \pr\o-a\j.€VOi rr\ rrjs 
10 eibaipiovCas apxfj. 

Sequuntur Sententiae. 

10 xiravos FP'H : xtipavos P 1 ' xei^dVor B /3oa Menagius : 
&ori libri ()3oH B) 11 baKpvav Casaubon baKvaiv hbn : f3ou>v 

Soph. Track. 787 : Stiver Menagius : Xda-Kav Dobree . dcuctav 
Kochalsky ivfav B'FQH : [l]v[C]*>» P 1 : frfrv B 1 ZaTtvov] 
fKTvnovv Soph. Trach. 787 12 AnKpuw t FP'QH : Aoftpwv rt 

BP 1 : Aoicpix Soph. Track 788 Xtpai BP'QH : 5 K pa F 138 1 ov 

dt avras FH : ovb' favrds ' P 1 : ov fit' avrds BP'Q 5 |3po>rd 

B'PQH : ppord B'F : Pptara (riva) coniecit Usener 


sures of the soul are greater. As proof that pleasure is 
the end he points out that all living creatures as soon as 
they are born take delight in pleasure, but resist pain by 
a natural impulse apart from reason. Therefore we avoid 
pain by instinct, just as Heracles, when he is being devoured 
by the shirt of Nessus, cries aloud 

With tears and groans : the rocks re-echoed far 
From Locris' mountain peaks, Euboea's hills. 
138 He says that virtue is preferred for the sake of pleasure, 
and not for its own sake, just as the doctor's art is em- 
ployed for the sake of health. So Diogenes says too in 
the 20th book of Miscellanies, and he adds that education 
is a ' way of life '. Epicurus says also that virtue alone is 
inseparable from pleasure, but that other things may be 
separated, such as things to eat. 

Come, then, let us put the crown, as it were, to thewhole 
work and to the life of our philosopher, in setting out his 
Principal Doctrines and closing the whole work with them, 
thus using as our conclusion the starting-point of happiness. 



The first letter, addressed to Herodotus, is an exposition of the 
main principles of Epicurus' system, intended, as he explains at once, 
not for the outside world or for novices, but for those who have 
already made some progress in acquiring the master's ideas It 
accordingly assumes considerable knowledge on the part of the 
reader, especially of many of the technical terms and phrases used 
by him, and is often allusive and compendious. It is, moreover, 
carelessly written, and abounds in long sentences, which give the 
appearance of never having been thought out as a whole, but merely 
built up in the course of composition, as new thoughts and modifica- 
tions occurred to the writer. It has no doubt suffered also in trans- 
mission, and consequently, as we have it, is one of the most difficult 
and obscure pieces of writing in the Greek language. Even in the 
sequence of the subjects treated it is dislocated and incoherent, but it 
seems useless to attempt to reconstitute a logical order of discussion 

The genuineness of the letter has never been contested, and it may 
be accepted as an example of Epicurus' esoteric and more crabbed style, 
just as the third letter is of the more lucid and polished style which he 
adopted when writing for a wider and less initiated audience. It is, 
with the exception of the poem of Lucretius, the most complete 
exposition of Epicurus' philosophy which we possess. 

Of Herodotus, to whom the letter was written, we know nothing, 
except that he was of course a disciple and that he wrote a work On 
the Youth of Epicurus {Vti § 4). 

Introduction (§§ 35~37)- 

Epicurus explains his reasons for writing this new summary, which 
is intended as a reminder to those who have already made some 
advance m the comprehension of his system . it is to be a r/sum/ of 
the chief points in the doctrine, to which chey can refer and which the) 
may commit to memory. 

§ 35 2. tos pilous . . . BtpXous : i.e. Epicurus' more detailed works 
and in particular the Uepi <f>wrtt^ t of which there were thirty-seven 
books {Vti. 27). 



3. tmropfyr : i. e. the work known a3 the /nryaA.17 hrvrofirj, which 
was intended, as he explains here, chiefly for beginners, and set out 
the main principles in the different departments of the system. It was 
probably on this work in the main that Lucretius based the De Rerum 
Natura (see Giussani, Stud. Lucr., p. 10). The present letter was 
sometimes known as the i-n-iTOfvq. 

irperyfidTcias, ' the system ' : SO Aristotle speaks of rj IIAaratPo? Trpay 
fmrua, Metaph. 1 6. 1 

4. Karcurytif, ' to grasp ', ' get by heart '. Cf. § 83 ovtos o Xoyot 
Swaros Ka.Tacrxi6rjvau fier' dicpi/Jeias. 

Twt- &\oox*p<»TdiTui> ye Sojuc, 'at least of the general principles 
covering the whole ground', sc. m the different departments. The 
variations in the MSS. strongly support Usener's suggestion of inserting 
yt, and it greatly improves the sense . it might not be possible for a 
beginner to retain the details of the system, but by the aid of the 
Greater Epitome he will at least comprehend the general ideas. 

5. aUTois TrapcirKcuacra. Usener quite unnecessarily alters to Sv tis 
irapaerKevoo-ai, probably because he did not realize that Epicurus is 
referring to the Greater Epitome, and took the reference to be to the 
present letter, aii-ols picks up rot's fit) Swajiivoti, a not infrequent 
habit in Epicurus (cf K. A. xxx, xxxn, xxxix, though the instances 
there are not quite so clumsy). 

6. oiTots. An obviously necessary correction for the MS. aw-ots. 

7. xat -rofls -irpope0T]K(5Tas • -j ' and those also who have made 
progress'. The more proficient disciples need reminding of the 
main principles, and for them the present letter is intended. It is 
certainly written in an ' esoteric * style. The point seems clear 
enough without reading xal St) maC, as Giussani suggests (Sfud. Lucr., 
p 7, note 2) 

8. rhv To-rroK . .'oi', ' the scheme of the whole system 
set out in its main principles '. 

10 Tijs dOp(Sas £mBo\f)s. iTrifiokr} is one of the most difficult 
technical words in Epicurus. It is used without qualification here 
and in two other places in this paragraph, but it cannot be 
separated from iTri/3o\t) t^s Siavoias in §§ 38, 51, and K. A. xxiv. It 
means first a ' projection (of the mind or senses) towards an image 
so an ' act of attention ', and with the added idea of the result of the 
act ' view ', ' apprehension '. So here ' we need the comprehensive 
grasp'. See also note on § 38, and a full discussion in Appendix, 
pp. 259 ff. 

§ 36. 1. paBicrr^oM i-n ineiva. iKttua. must be 'the general princi- 
ples ', rot 5X.a of § 35 8, though the reference is not very explicit. For 
the form of the phrase cf § 83 iav fit) koX -rrpbs airarro fSaSurri tis. 
The MSS. have nal in cKciea crwex&s tq fiinjfir), which is more 
easdy and satisfactorily mended by Gassendi's transposition of teal after 
iir intlva, than by Usener's h> rt (ivr/fiy or von der Muehll's Si 

TJ) f-vvjfi-y. 

COMMENTARY. §§35-37 


3. ^ . . . KupwriTT) fa-i^oX^ : here again as in 6 ' the most essential 
view, grasp, comprehension ' of the truth. 

iu-l t& irpiy\iMTa : not simply ' over things ', but over things as 
Epicurus saw them, ' the truth '. Cf. the use of irpaypartCa above. 

4. t& kut4 jUpos d.KpC£<*}jLa, ' accurate knowledge in detail '. Cf § 83 

ru>v Kara /uepos aKpiftta/iaTwv. 

6. tou TeTeXio-ioupyrifi.^t'ou, ' of the man who is perfected in the 
system ' fully initiated '. Cf. § 83 00-01 Si pjq TravrcXZs avrZv t£>v 
airoreXovpJvtav. Giussani apparently takes it as a neuter participle 
with tov 3ravT09 AKpi^io/iaTos, ' of the perfect and complete knowledge 
of the whole system ', but both the order and the parallel of § 83 are 
against this. Bignone agrees m taking it as masculine . von der 
Muehll unnecessarily reads the dative t£> rercXeo-iovpyTjpJvw 

7. to . . . xp^fffoi-, 'to be able to make a rapid use of observation 
and mental apprehension', rats €Tri./Jo\aTs is used here in a rather 
more technical sense, and for the plural we must compare § 38 
€7riy3oAas tiTt StavoiaS tiff otov Brfirort tu>v Kpirypiwv : it means the 
' apprehensions either by the mind or by the senses '. The truly 
initiated man must be able to interpret quickly what he perceives and 
to apply rapidly his mental conclusions. 

8. Kal . . . 9 auvayoit.ii'biv. The MS. text will not construe as it stands. 
Usener drastically corrects it ctootw . . . avayop.cva>v, ' by referring 
everything to elementary principles and formulae '. But this is not 
quite the point, and the emendations are both considerable it looks 
rather as if something were lost. Bignone supplies after xPV <T ^ tL '- (t«pi 
tS>v Kara, jj.ipo's Kal Trcpl rwv o\<dv), but 1. 3 shows that the preposition used 
after i-n-ipokrj is en-i, not ircpC, and the correction ignores the Kal of the 
MSS., nor again is the sense quite what is wanted. The initiate must 
be able to form his conclusions rapidly, and for this purpose he needs 
short mnemonic formulae. I therefore suggest that the words lost were 
something like (tovto ytvoir <Lv diravrtov). Von der Muehll reads 
<Twayop.cvott, which I do not understand. 

$<t>vi<i, probably 'formulae', made by the combination of <p66yyoi 
(§ 37- 6 ) an d corresponding to wpoA^i/'ets in the mind. 

9. tA mjitvupa, 'the condensation, abbreviation, abridgement'. 

10 -rfjs . . irepioSetas • lit. ' the continuous circuit of the whole 
system ', ' circuit ' because it is all so closely linked that it is constantly 
coming back on itself. 

§ 37. 2. <J>u«xm>Xoyl£, ' the investigation of nature ', but of course with 
the implication that it is the Epicurean method of investigation. 

ttjs toicmJttjs 680C : i. e. the course he has just suggested of resuming 
important points for the benefit of the initiated like Herodotus. 

5. irapeyYuui' . . . Bo$£>k. A difficult clause in which I have with some 
hesitation accepted Usener's corrections, iraptyyvwv to is in effect the 
MS. text, ivipyrjfjjx has less authority than ivapyrjpxi, but it is impos- 
sible to make sense of the latter here, toiovt^ is a not very serious 
correction for to tovtwv, and lyya\r)vt£a>v is as likely to be concealed by 



the MS. variations as any other case of the participle. The most 
serious change is broirjcra <rot for TroiT/o-ao-Qat, but it seems required by 
the sense, and is the natural conclusion for this section. The whole 
sentence should be compared with the conclusion of the letter in § 83, 
where he comes back to the idea of the yaXqvur/^os, which results from 
the study of natural science. 

-irapcyyuuy, ' recommending ', like an officer passing along the 

3. Toioifaf ■ Bignone proposes an alternative correction, toiovtos 0>v, 
which is not palaeographicalJy much better, and is awkward in com- 
bination with the other two participles. 

I. Methods of Procedure (§§ 37, 38). 

Epicurus starts with a brief summary of the important points in his 
Canomca, which is to be regarded not so much as a 'Logic' of the 
system, for he had no belief in logic, but as ' lules of procedure', or, 
as it presented itself to him metaphorically, the ' measures (*avwes) 
and squares and plumb-lines ' with which the builder keeps his building 
straight (Lucr. iv. 513 ff.) For further references to the Canonica see 
Usener, pp. 175-190. 

The first principle is one of language. Every word must correspond 
to an exact concept on (tt/joXtj^is) m the mind, and this conception mus>t 
be the first and most obvious associated with the word. 

6. t& uwoTeTayji^ca rots fyb&yyois, ' that which is attached to sounds ' 
— i.e. the ideas or conceptions (TrpoXrjij/eis) associated with words. 
<p06yyoi appear to be ' words ' which in combination make <£cura£ 

7. -rei Sofalrffieca, ' matters of opinion '. According to Epicurean 
doctrine, the mind receives the data of sense-perception and makes its 
inferences from them. These inferences in themselves have no neces- 
sary validity, but must be tested by constant reference to sense-percep- 
tion, and only accepted if they are confirmed (iwi/jLaprvpe Zrai) or not 
refuted (ovk avrtfuaprvpeiTai) by it (cf. § 50) But sense-impressions 
by frequent repetition form m the mind general conceptions (7rpo\»Jt/f«is) 
— ' composite photographs ', as it were — and these TrpoXrjif/ti's, being 
derived from sense-impressions, have an equal validity with the sense- 
rmpressions as a criterion of truth (cf, Vit. 31, 33). The ipOoyyol 
are the symbols of the irpoA.ipi/'tis. 

tt)Tou)j.eva are problems concerned with the investigation of external 
things ; Airopoupcfa, problems raised in the mind, apart from immediate 

9. ^fily (j)) : the MSS. read simply, G alone adding of which 
p seems a simpler and safer correction than ly. 

i-KohctKruoua-iy, ' explaining ' rather than ' proving as Bignone 
points out. 

§ 88. 1. tS mpwTOf ivv6t]pxi: in Epicurus' idea all thought proceeds 
by means of visualization, or more exactly, the -n-poXrj^tts come before 

COMMENTARY. §§ 37-38 

the mind : an syvoyjfui then is a ' mental image ', and Epicurus 
therefore uses the verb fiXbrta-dau We are to make it the rule to con- 
sider the 'first' image, i.e. the most literal picture associated with a word 
Epicurus no doubt meant this rule partly 10 be a protest against the 
use of metaphorical language in philosophy, but it can hardly be said 
that he carried it out very successfully himself. 

4 in tc k<xt& t&s aurtih^o-cis . . . 8. anrjficiwcnijieOa. An extremely diffi- 
cult sentence involving several highly technical notions Having 
dealt with the phraseology to be used in investigation, Epicurus passes 
now to the methods of investigation. The order is somewhat illogical 
because, as we have seen, the determination of the phraseology really 
involves the standards of judgement He staits with the simple prin- 
ciple, which is the keystone of the whole metaphysic of Epicureanism 

Kara. Tas alo-Qijo-eis Sec irdvra -nqptlv, ' all our investigations ' {navra 
takes its content from the general tone of the context) ' must be con- 
trolled by sensations'. Sensations are infallible ; their evidence must 
always be accepted at once, when it is available, and in cases where it 
is not {dSrjXa), any hypothesis must be submitted to the test of sensa- 
tion, and only accepted if it is not then contradicted (§ 50). Similarly, 
in the field of morality or conduct, the xnrapxovra -rrdBi) — the immediate 
feelings of pleasure and pain must be the supreme test • pleasure is 
good, pam is bad (cf. Ep 111 129 is kclvovi t<2 7ra<?€i irav aya$bv 
KptVoires). Thus far the idea is clear • we are left with the words koX 

u7tA.£>s («aTo) ras jrapowras t7ri/ eiT€ Siavot'as e"0' orov Siprort rS>v 
KpiTTjpiwv, which are fully discussed in the Appendix on «?ri/?oXr; t^s <3ia- 
votas, pp. 259 ff. We may sum up the conclusions there reached thus : 
the imfiokal tt/s StaiWas are the ' apprehensions of mental images * of 
things imperceptible by the senses 111 two cases : (a) when certain 
images too subtle to be perceived by the senses, make their way 
directly into the mind and are ' apprehended ' by it in a kind of 
secondary sense-perception , such especially are the images of the 
gods ; {6) when the concepts of science are grasped by an act of 
attention on the part of the mind employing the process of verification 
which consists in their reference to the test of sensation and finding 
that they are not contradicted (ovk &vti p.a-pTvptiT(u). The €7ri/3oAal rwv 
KpinjptW are similar ' acts of apprehension ' on the part of the senses 
(xprnqpiov is here used in an active sense of the ' instrument of judge- 
ment '), which are not now content to receive a merely passive impres- 
sion, but ' look * or ' listen ' actively in order to obtain confirmatory 
evidence (eVifiaprv/OT/o-is) with regard to the 'problem awaiting solu 
tion ' (irpo<riUvov) by means of the ' clear view ' (ivapyts). This process 
is exactly parallel to the second process of the «7ri/3o\T) ttJs Smvotas. 
For the whole idea of the iiri^oXai compare phrases in §§ 50, 51, 62, 
and K. A. xxiv, and for the processes of verification by the test of the 
senses § 50 fin. and notes there. In tc, Arndt, seems a more satis- 
factory correction of the MSS. tvrt than Usener's lirara. 

«*» M 

i 7 8 


5. dirXAi probably means ' in particular ' : though Epicurus insisted 
that every aZor&jo-ts was true, i.e the image formed in the sense-organ 
corresponded exactly to the ' idols ' that fell upon it, he insisted no 
less strongly that before we allow opinion to pronounce upon the 
nature of the object (orcptpviov) from which the ' idols ' originally 
came, we must get the confirmation of the ' nearer view '. The 
' nearer view ' obtained by iiriftoKy was thus in reality a surer indica- 
tion of the truth of the image to the objective reality than the original 
passive aXcr6r)a-i<s. This Epicurus never liked to admit, as it under- 
mined the validity of ala-6rja-it as a criterion of truth, but the letter 
is not without indications, such as this, that he preferred the clear 
view of imf3o\ij, and indeed for purposes of scientific investigation 
demanded it. 

tAs Trapoutrat im0oX<is means 'the immediate apprehensions' 
apart fiom any addiLion made to them by Sofa : cf. the exactly parallel 
phrase in K A. XXIV to Trapbv JJStj Kara ttjv aZcrO-rj&iv ko.1 to. Trd.Br) koI 
7racrav if>avTaaTiKr]v iiri/3o\rji> ttj? Stavoias. 

6 t5>v KpiTTipiuf cannot be here used m its full technical sense of 
the ' standards of judgement which are aurffrjcris, 7ra#os, and 71-00- 
\rpj/i<; (and, according to later Epicureans, fn-i/JoAr) -rrjs Stovoia? ( Vif. Ep. 
% 31)), because ato-Or/a-is and 7ra0o? are separately mentioned, and you 
cannot have an iTn{3o\r} t»)s TrpoXyif/tuis (still less an €7ti/3oAt) tt/s ewi- 
f3o\.rj<i ttJs SiavoCas). I take the word both here and in § 51 i7ri/JoAas 
rrji Siavot'as r) tSiv Xoi/nw Kpmqptunr to mean ' the individual senses ' 
sight, hearing, smell, &c, regarded in their capacity as Kpirqput, 
' instruments of judgement '. Giussani wrongly interprets the word 
in a general sense 'signs' or 'indications', and propounds a most 
improbable explanation 

If the general view here taken is correct, we must follow Gassendi in 
reading Kara before ras rrapovcras £7ri/?oAus and Giussani in changing 
nal before ri {nrdpxovra irddr) to Kara. Otherwise we get the statement 
that the ala-OrjcreK are to control the various iirtftokai and the Trd&j, 
which is impossible for Epicurus. Bignone reaches the same sense by 
omitting Kara, after fri r*, reading tovtwv for irdvra and then preserv- 
ing the MS. text. But this is palaeographically improbable, and the 
expression ris altrBr/veis . ■ . -rrdvrwv seems very unlike Epicurus. 
Von der Muehll reads here ras aUr&r/crei 1 ; Sei Trdvroy; Trjptiv, but 7raVra>s 
18 difficult, I doubt the phrase t« ala-ffrjo-tis rr/ptlv and the whole idea 
is not so Epicurean. 

7. 8iru»9 Hv . . . (n)<ii<TOfi,c9a. Notice the implied parallelism of 
ideas : the -n-poa-fUvov, the problem of sensation, is to be solved by an 
hri^okrj of one or other of the senses, the 3.&r]\ov, the problem of 
thought, by the eiri/JoAr) rfjt 6Wota«. Epicurus is also harking back 
to the beginning of the section : there the irjrov/*€va are the problems 
of sense-investigation, the a7rooou'/«J'a the problems of thought. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 38-39 


II. The Universe and its Constituents. 
A. Things imperceptible : the three principles. 

Epicurus plunges at once into the discussion of the 3&t))ta, the 
ultimate constituents of the universe, which never could fall within the 
ken of the senses. He here enunciates with brief proofs three funda- 
mental principles: (1) that nothing is created out of nothing, (2) that 
nothing is destroyed into nothing ; (3) a deduction from the two former 
principles — the universe is ever the same. The first two principles 
had already been enunciated by Empedocles and Anaxagoras and 
adopted by Democntus, whom Epicurus is here following. 

The first principle that ' nothing is created out of nothing ' really 
covers two important ideas: (1) in general, that the sum of matter is 
never increased by new additions, and (2) in leference to particulars, 
that every material object has a material cause The proof seems at 
first sight irrelevant as it appears to deny fresh creation on the ground 
that there is not indiscriminate creation But it is based as usual on 
the appeal to the evidence of sensation : every creation of which we 
have cognizance implies a previous ' seed ' ; but if ' spontaneous crea- 
tion ' were possible, things would be created without ' seeds ', which 
sensation denies. Lucretius elaborates the proof at great length in 

9. Taura . . . SiaXaPtStras lit ' having made these distinctions 
i.e. between the right and wrong use of words and the true and false 
standards of judgement 

8ei : either Stt must be read here for St or it must be inserted with 
Meibom after rjS-r] or with von der Muehll after 8ia\af36vras. 

awopav, ' to consider', 'obtain a comprehensive view of: notice 
again the suggestion of thought as visualization 

■wep! Tiic d&TjXfcie, 'imperceptible things', such as never could come 
within the cognizance of the senses. Of these Epicurus distinguishes 
two classes : (1) certain atomic compounds too subtle to be perceived 
by the senses, which yet make themselves known directly to the mind 
by means of eZStuAa . e.g the gods (cf. Lucr. v. 148-149), (2) imper- 
ceptible things which cannot be perceived by eZ8u>Aa even by the mind, 
and can only be reached by ratiocination , e.g. the atoms and space, 
the ultimate constituents of the universe He also sometimes applies 
the term 3Zrj\a loosely to phenomena so distant that the near view of 
them cannot be obtained : e.g. ra /j.crewpa. 

1 1 iy'iver. Usener's suggestion in the notes that lyivtr should be 
read is contradicted by ijtddpera in the next line, and is inconsistent 
with Epicurus' view of creation as a continual pi ocess : ' sporadic 
creation ' would be going on now. 

§ 39. The second principle that 1 nothing is destroyed into the non- 
existent ' is the complement of the first, and like it has two implica- 
tions : (1) m general, that the sum of matter is never decreased by any 

M 2 

l8 ° i. npos HPOAOTON 

absolute loss — the principle of the 'permanence of matter'; (a) that 
no individual thing is utterly destroyed, but only dissolved into its 
component particles (see Lucr. i. 215, 216). The proof is again 
succinctly put, but more obviously than that of the first principle. 
If everything which passed from our ken (to a<f>avi£6p€vov) utterly 
passed out of existence, then seeing that this process of ' perishing ' is 
always going on all round us, the whole sum of nature would long ago 
have been destroyed. As it is, destruction is prevented by the ' seeds '. 
Again Lucretius elaborates at great length (1. 217-264). 

2. ofiic orrue cfc & SicXucto, ' since the things into which they were 
dissolved did not exist'. This clause is the link between the two 
principles : it is the existence of the permanent oTrep/iaTo which 
secures the permanence of the universe, and this existence is of course 
the ultimate basis of the atomic theory. 

The third principle that ' the universe is unchanging ' is in part a 
deduction from the other two if nothing is ever added by fresh 
creation from the non-existent, the universe cannot increase : if 
nothing is ever destroyed into nothing, the universe cannot decrease. 
The expression here is very compressed, and Epicurus only uses the 
latter of these two arguments explicitly in the last clause ; the former 
is implied. Moreover the argument is expressed from the point of 
view of change, which is slightly different from that of the previous 
clauses. Change, in Epicurus' view, is always destruction . see the con- 
stantly recurring and almost axiomatic lines in Lucretius (i.6yo,&c): 
nam quodcunque suis mutatum finibus exit, 
continuo hoc mors est llhus quod fuit ante 
In the parallel passage of Lucretius 11. 304 ff, which was pro- 
bably based on the Greater Epitome, it is implied that there are 
three possibilities by which the universe might, change. (1) if 
there were anything outside it into which any part of it might 
escape; (i) if there were anywhere from which a new force might 
enter the universe and alter it. These two causes are those most 
prominent in this section. But there is another (3), the possibility of 
change by internal rearrangement, which might at first sight seem, in 
view of the constant dissolution and recomposition of the atomic 
compounds, to be a cause actually at work in the universe. Epicurus' 
answer lies in the conception of equilibrium (la-ovo/jua) : the atoms, 
not infinite but unlimited in number, have long ago entered into all 
possible combinations and nothing new can be created by their com- 
binations. This Lucretius (ii. 297 ff.) puts vividly: 

quapropter quo nunc in motu pnncipiorum 
corpora sunt, in eodem ante acta aetate fuere 
et posthac semper simili ratione ferentur, 
et quae consuennt gigm gignentur eadem 
condicione et erunt et crescent vique valebunt, 
quantum cuique datumst per foedera natural. 
Bignone (Appendix, ui, p. 253) has rightly called attention to this 



third point, and sees a reference to it in the words ov$b> yip iariv «"s 
& (iera/3a\ti. I think on the whole that it is more probable that this 
sentence refers to the first of the causes enumerated above, change 
due to dissolution into something else ; but the idea of change by 
internal alteration seems to be lurking in Epicurus' mind, as is shown 
by his use of /AeTa/JaXXew. 

4. prraprfXXci is the reading of all the MSS. and can, I think, be 
retained, although Usener's correction fiera.{3a\fi would produce a 
more normal construction Bneger's omission of tit would make the 
clause a mere tautology of what follows, and is based on a misunder- 
standing. Still more so is Giussam's violent change irapa. yap to trUv 
obQiv icrrcv t£s o //.era/JoAc! tJ 8 av *Ur*\.66v . . 

5. ouWe i<mv, o . . . Bignone thinking that there should be direct 
mention of the possibility of change by loss would amplify ovdtv 
itrrw 5{iroi av ti efeAtfoi, rj o) av d<rt\8ov . . But this is un- 
necessary, if we can suppose that this cause of change is implied in the 
previous sentence. 

6. iroi^o-aiTo . a curious use of the middle, but it is unnecessary to 
alter to woirja-ai with Usener, or with CrOnert to woir/crai (8vvw.)to. 
Epicurus not infrequently employs the middle unexpectedly. 

B Bodies and space. 
Epicurus proceeds at once to consider the constitution of the 
universe. It consists of bodies (matter) and space That body 
exists is attested by the universal experience of mankind, and space 
must needs exist in order that bodies may exist and move in it The 
line of argument is familiar in Epicurean writings (the Scholiast here 
notes that it recurred both in the Greater Epitome and in the Utpl 
<t>v<rt<i><i) and is closely followed with some amplification by Lucr 1 

*j. (aufuxTa teal tottos) the addition made by Usener is amply 
justified by Ep. 11. 86 to irav <r<apa.Ta Kal ava<j>r]<; <j>vcn.<:, by quotations 
from Epicurus in Sext. adv Dogm 111. 333 (Fr. 13) and Plut. adv. 
Col. n,p ni2e (Fr. 14), and by Lucr 1 420. The omission is due 
to ' haplography '. Arndt and Kochalsky propose to read to irav l<m 
without any addition, but it is absurd that he should here state the 
existence of the universe after assuming it in the previous section, and 
the following sentence would then be left without connexion. 

8. aurJi ^ a"a6T|fris . we are at every moment conscious of the 
existence of bodies and our consciousness cannot be denied. Reason 
must take its evidence from the senses in judging of aSrjka. 

iirl iravwv : not neuter 'on all occasions ' but 'before the eyes of, 
as often in legal phraseology (e.g. Dem. 781.4 iXcyxco-Oat lirl ird.vra>v). 
This is proved by Lucr. i. 422 ' corpus enim per se communis dedicat 
esse sensus '. 

9- Anrcp itpoeiirov . sc. § 38. 

10. t& spiaQtv . Usener's toVos &i is an unnecessary emendation 



of the MS. rb TrpocrBw : Si must be inserted, as Gassendi saw, 
after «L 

§ 40, i. S utrbv . . . Epicurus' list of synonyms is carefully repro- 
duced by Lucretius : toito? = locus, Ktvov = mane, \<!>pa = spatium : 
AvtKprjt tpvcrif is represented by the adjective tniactile in 1. 437 (cf. in- 
tactus, ' intangibility ', i. 454). The words are used as absolute 
synonyms by Epicurus, but their interchangeable use suggests an 
uncertainty, and Epicurus seems to oscillate between the ideas of 
' space ' = extension in an almost mathematical sense, and the more 
concrete notion of the ' unoccupied space ' between bodies, o has the 
best MS. authority . Usener reads 5v from the Sv of some MSS., to 
agree with toitos in his emendation. 

2. &.va%9\ +ii<7ie regards space from a slightly different point of view 
and leads up to the mention of properties. The one property of 
space, that by which alone it can be known, is that ' it cannot be 
touched': but it is a <f>wris — an existence — just as matter is a <j>v<ris. 
The idea really goes back to the controversies of Leucippus and 
Democritus with their opponents. ' The real ' (to 6V), said Leucippus, 
meaning what his opponents called real, 1 e. matter, ' exists not a 
whit more than the unreal, the void exists no less than matter '. 

3. KaOdircp ^aivcrai Kivoujicm Notice again the appeal to sense, 
but in this case it cannot be so direct : sensation cannot tell us of the 
existence of the void, as it can of body. But it does tell us of the 
positions and motions of bodies : and neither position nor motion is 
possible without ' empty space '. Here then we have a case of the 
ftaprvprjo-n of phenomena. 

irap£t Be TauT& . . . Epicurus repeats his position from a slightly 
different point of view, stating it now negatively. Besides bodies and 
space there is nothing else which exists as a ' complete thing ' (oktj 
<£vt7is), nothing, that is, which has an independent existence. Anything 
else we can conceive (e.g a quality or a state) has an existence 
dependent on or relative to something else, is, as Epicurus says, 
a property (o-iyx/Jt/S^/cos) or accident (<rv/uirr<i>/«i) of body or space. 
Lucretius is again (1. 430-432, 445-448) following closely and goes on 
naturally enough to discuss properties and accidents, a subject rele- 
gated in the letter (possibly out of place) to § 68 Bignone notes that 
Epicurus' view is here stated in opposition to the Platonic theory of 
ideas and to any spiritual view of the <irvxn- 

4. o3ts ircpi\T)irT(.itus outc dvaXoyus -rots irepiXirirTOis, ' neither by way 
of conception nor on the analogy of conceivable things '. Epicurus' 
idea of thought is always the grasping (7repiAa/A/3av€iv) of a 
visual image (clSwXov) — sometimes this is the irp6\rj^i<t, which has 
been formed in the mind by a succession of t'SwXn. from outside 
(s-f/wAjpn-t/cttis), sometimes by a combination of images the mind forms 
an image of its own (ivaXoywi tois Treptk^rrroU). 

Usener is probably right in regarding the form ireptXyprTSu in the 
MSS. as impossible and emending to irepiXrprriKSts. 

COMMENTARY. §§40-41 

5 6* . . . XafiPwdficra . . . XcyiSficva. There seems no need to 
follow Usener in emending to otra . . kafifiavofLtv . . . Xeyojuev : the 
construction is loose, but not too loose for Epicurus. 

6. o-ufMrrciiAaTa t\ trupSe8i]K<iTa : cf § 68 and notes there. 

7. kcu \t,i]v ical . . . Having established matter and void as the sole 
existences, Epicurus proceeds to consider the form in which matter 
or body exists. ' Body ' is an ambiguous term We normally mean 
by it material things, such as we perceive • these are in reality com- 
pounds (o-vyKpto-cis) of matter and void. In its more technical sense it 
means 'absolute matter', matter apart from void. Once more 
Lucretius follows closely (1. 483, 484) 

corpora sunt porro partim pnmordia rerum, 
partim concilio quae constant pnncipiorum. 

§41. 1. TauTa 8^ itniv . . . This 'absolute matter' exists in the 
form of indivisible, unalterable particles, ' atoms '. Epicurus' very 
brief proof — that otherwise the dissolution of things would mean their 
absolute destruction — is elaborated by Lucretius into a long series of 
arguments to show that the ultimate particles are 'solid, single, and 
eternal' (1. 503-634, especially 540-55°)- 

orojia Kal d(i£TdBX*]Ta, ' they cannot be separated into smaller par- 
ticles, nor can there be any internal change by rearrangement of their 
parts ', both ideas come directly to Epicurus from Democntus, but the 
latter has greatly elaborated in the conception of the Tripum, §§ 56, 57 

3. Ia\u6v ti. The MSS. have urxyovTa, but (a) it cannot be taken 
with Trdvra, for Epicurus could not have said ' all things remain 
strong meaning that their component particles so remained, (6) 
Bignone's suggestion that it might refer to ravra at the beginning 
of the sentence would involve a considerable stretch of grammatical 
probability. Usener emends to iayyuv ti, but i<ty<W as a mere 
equivalent of Svvaa-Oai is unlikely. E Rohde in a MS note m his 
copy of Usener, now in my possession, suggested IxryyovTa. two., which 
is on the right lines : the things are dissolved but ' some permanent 
existences' remain, i.e. the atoms survive. I suggest (and 1 now find 
that Bignone in his notes has the same proposal) la-yQiov ti, ' some- 
thing with strength ', ' something permanent ', which is nearer to the 
MS. text. The participle is strongly confirmed by § 54 iirtiBiprtp 

Tt V7TOfltVflV iv Tall huxKvCTVTl TOJV <TVyKp[<T€<l>V OT€ptOV KCU ASldXvTOV, 

and by Lucretius' recurrent description of the atoms in the corre- 
sponding passage as ' soltda pollentia simplicitate ' (1 574, 61 a). 

Cronert's inrofitvttv for vnofitveiv is hardly necessary m Epicurus in 
spite of <j>6a.pT]<reo-da.L. 

4. -wX^ptj : i.e. each of the atoms is a solid corporeal plenum with- 
out any admixture of void. 

om : the MS. orav is clearly a mistake . Bignone's correction ola 
Sij is less satisfactory than Usener's ovra, and Meibom's ovra ital is 
hardly necessary. 


8*11 ^ Sir** : quite literally, there is no part of themselves in which 
they could break up and no means by which they could do it — another 
anticipation of the idea of the Wpara. 

C. Infinity of ihe universe. 

Epicurus proceeds to a new point. The universe, the sum-total 
that is of body + space (to irav), is infinite. This he proves charac- 
teristically by an appeal to sense-experience. In the case of any 
limited thing, you must come to the end of it, and you perceive its end 
'against something else', i.e. as standing out against something which 
is not ' it '. But in the case of the universe there is no such end and 
nothing outside it. The argument is brought out more clearly by 
Lucretius (1. 958-964) . 

omne quod est lgitur nulla regione viarum 
finitumst ; namque extremum debebat habere 
extremum porro nullius posse videtur 
esse, nisi ultra sit quod finiat , ut videatur 
quo non longius haec sensus natura sequatur 
nunc extra summum quoniatn nil esse fatendum, 
non habet extremum, caret ergo fine modoque. 

It is clearly illustrated by the famous problem of the throwing of the 
spear (968-983) 

7. irap" ?T£poV ti 6cupcLTai Usener, thinking the argument is 
incomplete as it stands, suggests (Introd , p. xvin) that a clause has 
been lost by ' homoeoteleuton ' dXka fiyv to ttuv ov trap h-epov ti 
0«<i>p«iTai, the equivalent of which is found in Cic. (te Dw. 11 50. 103 
' at quod omne est, id non cernitur ex alio extnnsecus' But I agree 
with Bignone that in a brief epitome like this it 13 quite likely that one 
step in the argument was omitted. 

9. koI (ifjp ica! . . . Not only is the universe infinite as a whole, but 
each of its two component parts is infinite, ' the bodies ' in number, 
space in extent For (if the whole is infinite, one or other or both of 
its constituents must be infinite — anothei omitted step conscientiously 
supplied in Lucr. i. 1008 ff), and (a) a limited number of atoms in 
infinite void could never meet or remain m union to form things, 
{6) unlimited atoms in finite space would not have room to take up 
their place (an argument slightly varied by Lucretius in 1. 988-1007). 

§ 42. 3. oOk ?x o,rra ri uwepeiSorro koI trr^XXorra koltcL tcIs dKaicoirds. 
The idea involves the Epicurean emetics. The atoms are continually 
falling in the void of their own weight, but they swerve from time to time 
owing to the irapcyicXuTts (Lucr. ii. 216 ff) and this causes them to 
collide. The result of constant collisions is that they are driven off in 
all directions, even upwards, and are so both prevented from falling 
and kept in their places within compounds. The dWKoin; is the single 

COMMENTARY. §§ 41-42 

blow which lies at the basts of the process of AvrtKomj (see §$ 46 b , 
47 b ). Meibom's proposal to read dn-ucoirds here is out of place 

4. oiic 4k «tx€ . . . : i.e. there would not be room for infinite atoms 
in limited space. Lucretius (i. 988 ff.) argues rather differently that 
the particles would all collect in a mass at the bottom of limited 
space. The two ideas differ only m the relative extent attributed to 
a limited space. 

D. Differences of shape in the atoms. 

Epicurus' position on this point is a little unexpected and needs 
explanation. The varieties of shape in the atoms are caused by the 
number and arrangement of their trlpaTo. — their inseparable parts. 
In order to produce the great variety of perceptible things — uvyKpttrti? 
— the variety of atomic shapes must be immensely large. But 
Epicurus is unwilling to say that it is infinite for a reason which 
becomes clear in § 56. Further variety of shape can only be pro- 
duced by the increase in the number of irtpara in the atoms, and if this 
increase were carried on to infinity, the atoms would become so large 
as to be perceptible to the senses. DemocrUus had indeed boldly 
said that some atoms are /ieytcrra, but Epicurus, feeling that the 
evidence of sense-perception was against this conclusion, decided that 
the varieties of atomic shape were not infinite, but only inconceivably 
many. See Lucr. 11. 478 ff. 

6. (jteorrd, 'compact', 'solid', one of the regular atomic words to 
denote the solidity and unbreakabihty of the atoms 

7. dir«p£K-t;-rrTti, 'incomprehensible', 'not to be grasped by the 
mind ' : see the note on TrepiS.rprri.Ku>i; (§ 40). The idea is again 
visual: you could not put the varieties of shape together and conceive 
them as a collection with a boundary round the outside. 

9. t&s TOCTauTas Sta<J>opds • i.e. m a~vyKpi(rei<s. 

itL tCiv auTw axi)ii.6.T<i>v . i.e. m the atoms One MS. (G) omits 
avrwv, but there seems no jeason to suspect it. 'by repeating the 
same shapes ' we might say 

-irepieiXTifj.firfKui', 'limited'; so as to become comprehensible in 

10. Ka8* *i«£<mii' : though the number of* shapes is only incom- 
prehensible, the number of atoms of each shape is infinite . this idea 
greatly assists the possibility of the formation of compound bodies 
with so vast a variety of shape. 

1 1 oix &TrXi*s 5-rrftpoi, ' not quite infinite ' : an almost colloquial 

13. After d-n-eptA.77irroi the MSS have the words oiSi yap tf>r]criv tv&orcpw 
(' further on sc. § 56) ets aTreipov ttjv to fitjv Tvy^avtw, ktyci Si, iwtiSri 
al irouiT^Tts /tttrajSaAAoirat, el fUWti Tt« /tiij ko.1 tois p.fyefft<rtv a7rX<os ets 

airtipov airras £Ac/JdXA«v. This has generally been recognized by 
editors as a scholium, as is shown by its introductory words. Bignone 
{At/i delta Reale Acc. dtlle Scienze di Torino xlvu, 1912, pp. 680 ff.) 


has shown that Usener's emendation of XJy<t to X^ytiv is unnecessary, 
and that the general sense is that if you deny infinite division, as 
Epicurus did, and yet wish to account for variations in quality in 
things, you still need not suppose an infinite variety of atomic shapes, 
and if you do, some will become so large as to be visible. Von der 
Muehll would retain the words cl /i.«'AA« . . . <»c/8cL\Ati.v in the text, 
which is possibly right, as it completes the argument, but it makes 
the scholium leave off very abruptly at firraPdXkovrat. 

E. Mo/ton of the atoms 

The never-ceasing motion of the atoms and the consequent internal 
vibration in compound bodies is a very important point m Epicurean 
physics and is treated at length by Lucretius (u. 80-332). The 
present statement is very much abbreviated and entirely confined to 
the internal movement in compounds. It is however fairly certain, as 
modern editors assume, that something mutt have been lost in which 
Epicurus dealt with the two primary causes of atomic motion, their 
weight, which causes them to fall downwards at an equal rate in the 
void, and the swerve (iropry(cA.ccri.s, chnamen) which produces their 
collisions and constant motion in all directions. The text resumes 
where he is describing the internal movement of the atoms inside 
compounds : there some atoms recoil at great distance, and thus con- 
stitute ranfied bodies, such as air and fire, in which there is a large 
admixture of void, others are kept more closely together either by 
their own interfacings, as m hard solids, or by the interlacing of an 
outer atomic 'case' which confines them, as in the case of liquids. 
In such compounds there is a constant internal vibration of atoms, 
recoiling at short distances between their collisions with one another. 

§ 48. 1. Kal at> . . . Bignone places the lacuna here, and 
suggests as giving its general form the words (na™ tnaJB^rpr^ al St 
Kara wapiyK\uriv, al 8k Kara. -rraXfiov tovtwv 8t al fiiv iptpovrai). This 
will fit well with the context and is fairly clearly what a lost passage 
might have contained. Usener places the lacuna after tov aia>va, but 
does not indicate its exact contents. It is almost inconceivable that 
Epicurus should not have spoken of the two primary causes of atomic 
motion, and it is noticeable that in the letter as we have it there is no 
mention at all of the all-important doctrine of the TraptyicXiCT-is, which 
would have come in naturally here. 

2 at 84 au rbv iraXpor is Usener's correction for the MS. reading 
al Si avrbv rbv waXfuov. It is difficult to attach much meaning to avrov, 
though it would be easier if mention of the iraA/tos had been made in 
the lost passage. The correction to av is simple, avrov having resulted 
from the repetition of tov Von der Muehll, following Bneger, reads 
avrov, ' there sc. in the compound. The 7raA./*os is of course the 
internal vibration within close compounds resulting from the constant 
movement and recoil of the constituent atoms. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 4 »-45 

3. Itrxawiv, not merely ' have ' but ' keep up '. Usener suggests 
the correction I^owoi, but (a) if Bignone's idea of the form of the 
lost passage is correct, the indicative would be natural ; {6) even other- 
wise this abrupt breaking away from exact parallelism in clauses is Very 
much m Epicurus' manner. 

■ri} irepi-rrXoiq} KCKAiplrcu . . . Epicurus assumes two varieties of 
these closer compounds. In one the atoms, those still moving in the 
mxAyuos, are actually interlaced with one another as in most solids, 
in the other there is as it were an outer case of interlaced atoms, which 
shuts in a number of other atoms moving freely within it (crreya- 
£d/*«vat -n-apa riav tt\€ktlku>v). It was in tins latter form that he con- 
ceived the body of fluids. The MSS. have tt;v TrtpurXoKriv, but it is 
impossible to construe the accusative. 

4. topi tup irKiKTiKuf, G only, must be right as against the ntpi of 
the other MSS. 

§ 44. 1. t5 re yip . . . Epicurus' explanation of the twofold cause 
of the internal vibration is rather obscure. When the atoms have 
entered a compound they are unable to stay still because they are 
even now individually surrounded by void, which offers no resistance 
to their movement; on the other hand, their constant collision with 
other perfectly hard and unyielding atoms makes them recoil in all 

a. ofiTTji': emphatically predicative, ' each by itself ' The avrwv of 
G seems pointless and Meibom's conection arofj.ov needless, and not in 
Epicurus' manner 

4. KarA tV <ruyitpou(rn', ' on their collision ', almost * as the result of 
their collision ' 

if oiroaoK &y . This is clearly a greater distance in the case of 
atoms in the fluid body than in the solid 
6. tovtuv , ' thet>e motions '. 

oijk IcrTiv Usener's suggested addition oiSt rckos is quite un- 

cutiW Usener adopted H Weil's conjecture di&W, and it has been 
received by subsequent editors. But there seems no need for it . 
' there is no beginning to these motions, because their cause is the 
atoms and the void ', and they are the ultimate constituents of the 
universe which here existed for all eternity. Kochalsky would read 
&.vaiTLwv, ' uncaused ' (ursachlos), but &uch a meaning is surely 

§ 46 1 'H toctoutt) Si) . . .: a short conclusion to this section, which 
would perhaps be better in place after the next paragraph. It is 
expressed in the material terms of the Epicurean phraseology In 
order to have a visual image (IvCvom) of unseen things, the mind must 
have an example (twos) on which to build. This example is given in 
the audible sounds (4>o>vr)) of Epicurus' words, the written text being 
regarded, as always in Greek, as a record of the spoken words 
Too-ovn; 8tj has better MS. authority than ron-atm? Si and is more 


natural. Bignone takes it to mean ' of so great importance but it 
surely means 'so brief. 

a. tt}s . . . imvolas. The MSS have ^rivotais which Usener keeps, 
insetting {rait TTtpC) before tj}s. But Z f have iirwoias, whvch Bignone 
adopts, and the correction is simpler. For the construction of tvwov 
with gen. he compares § 35 tov tvitov 7-75 3A.7is Trpa.yp.a.TtCa.% 

F. Infinite number of worlds. 

This section comes as a sort of afterthought Other worlds than 
our own are in fact another kind of aSrjXa, not because, like the atoms 
and space, they are m their nature imperceptible, but because we can 
never perceive them. It was a regular tenet of the atomic school that 
there is an infinite number of worlds, some like ours, some unlike, and 
differing too from one another The proof given by Epicurus is also 
traditional, that with infinite atoms moving in space the sequence of 
their movements will cause the creation of other worlds just as it has 
of this world . no limited number of worlds could exhaust the supply 
of matter Lucretius (11 1023-1089) argues also from the typically 
Epicurean idea that nothing is unique, and that on the whole there is 
about an equal number of all things (la-ovoftCa). 

3. 0* 6' has the support of the majority of the MSS. : the alternative 
f*0" would involve the change made by f of koL oi to tin, tqvtv is of 
course ' our world ' 

4. aT re yAp. The re suggests a complementary clause with reference 
to the infinite extent of space and something may have dropped out, 
as is suggested by the parallel passage of Lucretius 11. 1053-1055 ■ 

undique cum versum spatium vacet infinitum 
seminaque innumero numero summaque profunda 
multimodis volitent aeterno percita motu 

£n fipTi Aire8e£x6i) sc in § 42 

6. it Siv . . iroit]6t£T] It is difficult to see the difference between 
the two clauses. Perhaps t£ S>v av ytvocro refers rather to the original 
creation of the world, i<f> £>v &v -rroniGflr) to Us maintenance 

7 oiffl* Scroi . . . Sirf^opoi toutois. tovtols is the reading of all the 
MSS. • the parallel of 01 6' Sfiotoi tovtu> would lead one to expect 
tooto) here, ' like or unlike our world ', but there is no authority for 
the change. The idea then must be a new one, ' neither all those 
which are like one another nor all those which are different from these', 
i.e. from those which are alike. 

III. Sense-perception. 
A. Stghl by means of the 'images'. 

Epicurus now starts on a quite different topic. dUr&ryns is the 
foundation of the Epicurean theory of knowledge, and it is therefore 

COMMENTARY. §§45-46* 

necessary to know how it as brought about. He starts directly on 
sight and enunciates the main theory that it is caused by ' images ' 
which come off from things and travelling through the intervening air 
collide with the organs of sense and so cause perception. The theory 
was inherited from the Atomists and is described by Lucretius 111 a 
section which, though not closely following the present treatment, in 
many respects throws light on it (iv. 46-268). 

(1) The 'images'. The first section gives a very careful descrip- 
tion of the ' images '. They are in fact a film or framework, the outer 
atomic ' case ' of things which comes off from the surface. It is thus 
hollow within and extremely thin. Here again we are dealing with 
something beyond the ken of the senses, and according to the Canomca, 
the theory may be accepted, if it is not contrary to our experience. 
This accounts for the strangely negative form of the proof ovt* yap 
S.tto<tt acre is dSwarovo-iv . . 

§ 46 a . r Tu'iroi fi/ioiooxnuoeeg, ' images like in shape or outline ' to 
the solid bodies from which they come. Cf. Lucr iv. 51-52 : 

quod speciem ac formam similem gent ems imago 
cumscumque cluet de corpoie fusa vagari 

2 tuv ^aivofiivuv, ' the objects of sense a traditional philosophic 
term, rather oddly used by Epicurus, in whose theory external objects 
are never directly perceived except by touch The ' subtlety ' of the 
images far exceeds that of the objects, so that they can never be 
perceived by touch but only by the organs of sense 

3. iv to TttpUx. oyTl ' ' ,n whatever surrounds the object a perfectly 
vague phrase : in the case of the majority of things it is of course 
the air. 

4. Tfjs KaTepyao-ios. The MSS are divided between tovs, to?, and 
Tats, which points to some case of the article , the variations may be 
due, as Kochalsky suggests, to a mistaking of the rare ciriTrj&tiorrfTv; 
for some case of the superlative of en-cnjSecos xijs therefore seemb 
a simpler solution than Usener's irpos, the genitive being a perfectly 
natural construction after cTj-tnjSeidnrrEs 

ruf KoCkupfawv koX \enTOTi7TC1w. I take this to be a very careful 
description of the ' images ', which are merely films or cases, hollow 
within and extremely thin m the outer crusts. Usener emended to 
XetoDjrtov and took the whole phrase to mean, as Hicks translates, 
' materials adapted for expressing the hollowness and smoothness of 
the surfaces', i.e. of reproducing those of the original object: so 
Bignone. This seems to be quite unnecessary and really to antici- 
pate : Epicurus does not come to the relation of the image to the 
object till the next clause. * 

5. e&rie Kal $aa\.v 6itri% is the position held by the atom in rela- 
tion to itself (i.e. whether it is upside down or on its side), fida-n its 
place in the series with reference to its neighbours. The words 
correspond to the rpomj and hiaOCyri of Leucippus, which Aristotle 


explains to mean Oitrii and to&s : Giussani wishes to emend fi&viv to 
ra£vr, but that is unnecessary The importance of the preservation of 
these positions in the ' image ' is that it enables it to reproduce not 
only the shape but also the colour of the object, colour being due to 
the arrangement and movements of the atoms. Cf. 0«riv «ol ra&y 
below, § 48. 

§ 46. koX fiifv ko.1 . . § 47. touto KaTa<rx«if t6 crroijteioK. There 
follows a considerable section which interrupts the sequence of thought 
about the *i&u>\a and deals with the motion of atoms in the void and 
in compounds. Giussani suggested Us transposition lo §§ 61, 6a, 
where he adjusted the two sentences naturally to the context, and with 
some hesitation I follow him. Bignone {Epicuro, Appendix I, II) has 
argued at length for the retention of the passage in its place, regarding 
it as a preliminary explanation of the general principles of atomic 
motion intended to lead up to the discussion of the motion of the 
simulacra at the end of § 47. But (i) it seriously interrupts the 
sequence here . Epicurus states at the outset of § 46 that there are 
1 images like in shape to the objects ', and that ' they far surpass per- 
ceptible things in subtlety'. The fiist statement he immediately 
confirms in the sentence ovn yap aa-cxrmcreis . . ., the second is dealt 
with in the words elff on to t*8toka ... It is most improbable that 
these clauses should be interrupted by a long discussion of atomic 
motion intended to explain the subsequent 50ev ko.1 rdxn dwirtpPXr/ra 
2\<tu Even if the explanation 16 requned, it is not in place. (2) In 
order to obtain the reference to the simulacra Bignone has to adopt an 
improbable emendation in the text {rairo4>tp6iJiivov <xo>pa). (3) The 
sentences fit admirably in the place to which Giussani transfeis them 
in §§ 61, 62, and indeed seem necessary there to complete the argu- 
ment. It is best therefore to regard these sentences as belonging to 
the later context and transferred here by a scribe in order to assist the 
understanding of what is undoubtedly an anticipation of the general 
ideas of the atomic emetics at the end of § 47 such an anticipation 
Epicurus might well make in a letter intended for persons already 
acquainted with the system. Von der Muehll retains the sentences 
here and believes them to refer to the motion of the c'Su>Xa, but they 
seem to me to contain many statements quite inapplicable to the 
' images '. 

§ 47 a . (2) The subtlety and speed of the images. Having said 
that nothing in sense-experience contradicts the possibility of the 
formation of images, Epicurus proceeds to state that there is similarly 
nothing to contradict the notion of then extreme subtlety. This is 
the normal Epicurean 'proof with legard to afyka. He then pro- 
ceeds to deduce from their subtlety an extreme speed in motion. The 
text here is uncertain and the argument difficult as it assumes a know- 
ledge of the Epicurean cinetics (see §§ 61, 62). Briefly the idea is 
this : the unimpeded atom passes through space at ' inconceivable ' 
lyiTrtpivorjrif) speed : the only cause of delay is collision, which causes 

COMMENTARY. §§ 46^-47 » i gi 

arrest during the infinitely brief time of contact, and then the atom 
moves again at 'atomic' speed. In a compound body there are 
two causes of delay : firstly, it may collide with other bodies outside 
itself; secondly, the collisions and movements in all directions of the 
atoms which compose it delay the motion of the whole body, and it is 
only through this delay that its motion becomes perceptible (For 
both kinds of collision Epicurus uses the word Avtikoti^ ) Now the 
' images ' are mainly fine in texture • they are shot off from the body 
by the impulse of atomic movement within it, which starts the whole 
complex film in movement in one direction, they can move through 
space without encountering any — or only a few — obstacles, and there 
is lmle or no internal vibiation For these reasons the images are 
able to move almost at atomic speed they are imperceptible in their 
transit, and it is only when they touch our eyes lhat we lhen perceive 
them Lucr iv. 176-229 deals with the subject fully and in an 
independent manner, but he is, I think, of considerable value for the 
interpretation of the present passage. 

1 XeTrnSrrnric dKUTrepp\r|Tois, ' unsurpassable fineness of texture 
indefinitely greater than that of any compound perceptible by the 
senses. Cf. Lucr. iv. 11 0-12 8. 

3. irdrra iripov aupfieTpoy Jlxorra : a difficult expression which recurs 
in § 61. The analogy of § 53 oy«m . . <rufxft€Tpoi wpos to tovto to 
aUr&rrrripiov xivtTv suggests that we should emend here wpos (to) t$ . . ., 
' they have all their movement proportionate to the fact that . ' This 
was the view taken by the Ambrosian version and recently by Tescari 
and Kochalsky. But in § 61 the expression is used absolutely, and 
the two passages must be taken together. Bignone would render it 
'having all their movement in one direction', and Giussani explains 
that the component atoms of the ' image ' are not impeded by any 
avriKOTrq of their own owing to movements in many directions and 
consequent collisions It is hard to see how even in the subtle com- 
plex of an ' image ' there can be no avrLKOTry at all, and Epicurus 
himself seems to suggest that there is some : it is therefore best to take" 
the expression in a vaguer sense, ' having all lheir motion uniform ', 
1 e in speed and direction 

irpos (tw) tu 6\vya dtTiKiTrTcie. It is clear that an additional 
article must be inserted, and if we reject to (see above), Meibom's t£ 
is inevitable, ' besides the fact that '. The MSS. then have cnrtCptp. 
This Usener retains, and proposes to translate ' besides the fact that 
nothing . hinders their infinite subtlety ', referring to Lucr. iv. 
196-197 : 

deinde quod usque adeo textura praedita rara 
mittuntur, facile ut quasvis penetrare queant res. 

This Giussani adopts with some reluctance, and Hicks translates, 
'owing to their infinitesimal fineness they meet with no resistance'. 
But this is a quite impossible sense for dn-fi'py, especially in view of 



the occurrence of dirtipois immediately afterwards in a normal sense. 
Tescari, feeling that Usener's solution was impossible, supposed a 
lacuna after iirtipy in which the meaning required by Usener would 
be expressed. Bignone would read t4> (/xt)) dn-e^xp, ' nothing hinders 
the limited number of atoms in the images ', as opposed to imipon 
just afterwards. But though there is no difficulty in the neuter and 
genitive, for which he quotes parallels, the expression r§ [irj AirtCptp 
avrStv sounds very unlike Epicurus, who would surely have said 
imrtpaa-fUvoii. In the parallel passage Lucretius (iv. 205) says : 

cum iaciuntur et emissum res nulla moratur, 

which suggests a word equivalent in sense to emissum. I therefore 
propose Airoppui: it does not elsewhere occur in Epicurus though 
ivoppoia does in §46, but it seems a quite probable word for him 
10 use. 

4. iroXXcus 8f Koi direipois eu6ds atTiKdin-tii' n. The MS text is 
apparently rroXAats, though Usener in his notes quotes it as ttoXXoTs. 
With the latter we should supply el8J>\ois, and the meaning would be 
that though any one image would meet with but few obstacles, yet the 
continuous flow of them would be soon interrupted. This gives good 
sense, though it is surely possible to retain noXXaU (sc. aropuoti). ' The 
images with their subtle lexture and few atoms meet with little oppo- 
sition, whereas the many or infinite (in a loose sense) atoms which 
compose a normal compound body must at once be brought up 
against obstacles ' 

(3) Epicurus proceeds to the question of the creation of the images. 
It must be that they not only move to us with incredible speed, but 
also that there is an immediate and unbroken flow . otherwise we 
should not have a steady vision of the object but a broken chain of 
images It is also this constant and immediate flow which enables us 
to correct impressions which might be produced by the disturbance of 
individual images owing to collisions in transit, though occasionally 
(as in the familiar instance of the square tower seen at a distance) the 
whole series may be so affected. The images preserve ' for a long 
time ' the order and position of the atoms on the original body, but 
cannot do so for an indefinite time or distance • hence we do not see 
distant objects so clearly or certainly as those near at hand. Epicurus 
adds further that images may be formed by the union of atoms m the 
air or in oiher ways, and finally, rather more elaborately than usual, 
states his 'proof : that nothing in his theory is contradicted by our 
experience of the clear view of things or of the details of colour, move- 
ment, &c. For the whole passage cf. Lucr. iv. 143-175 

§ 48. 1 . Zn: . . . sc. ov&h> avTifiapTvpti twv <paj.vop.iymv from above. 

a. ytrfffiarv, ' as quick as thought ', almost a colloquial phrase 
Cf. § 61. 

3. £cu<ris is here used generally not only for the flow of images, bui 
for the constant efflux of individual atoms from compounds. Com- 

COMMENTARY §§47^-48 


pound bodies are always losing matter in this way and at the same 
time taking in fresh atoms from without 

3. 4miro\{)s: the correction of Z* and f for the MS. «rt n-oAAij* 
oTvexV* from the margin of P for crvvo^v. Both corrections are 
necessary and inevitable. 

o6k imSrjXos 17} pciuaei. Usener's correction for o-ij/xtiuKrei of the 
MSS. : f) /AtMocrci in F and the margin of P points in this direction. 
This is an interesting point in the theory, which is not reproduced by 
Lucretius. The constant efflux of images does not diminish the size 
of the object, because the place of the atoms lost is immediately taken 
by other atoms joining the compound body from the surrounding 
atmosphere (8<.a rr/v ayravairkypwa-iv). Cf especially Plut adv. Col. 

l6 /JLVpCiDV fAtV flSu>\u)V a.1T€p)(Ofl€VUiV atl Kal ptOVTUiV, /JLVpltoV 8' UH CLKOS 

Irlptav in rov irtpu\ovro<; iiripptovruiv kcll ava7r\y]povvTu>v to aOpourfna, 
though he is of course wrong in supposing that it was by other linages, 
not other atoms, that the place of the lost images is taken. Giussani 
wrongly interprets the &vTava.irkTjp<i><rts as of the images ; Epicurus 
does not mean that what is rubbed off from them in transit is replaced 
by the influx of new atoms. 

4. CTwlouo-a : from this point the peCtris, which is the subject, is 
definitely the flow of images. 

5. Oiviv Kal Tajik- • see note on § 46 a , 1 5. 

6. o-uyxeoptyri. Epicurus admits that the images may become 
blurred by collisions in transit ; when this happens only to individual 
images the necessary correction is made by the ' cinematographic ' 
effect of the whole series : but since, in the case of distant objects, the 
series may be thus affected we must be careful to regard what we see 
as a ■n-poa-fiivov. Usener adds vTrdp\ei after a-vyxeofjiivr) from the margin 
of H, but the participle can well stand alone. 

<ru<rni<T*i.s, ' compound idols ', which correspond to no real object, 
but are formed by the spontaneous congregation of atoms in the air 
Compare Lucr. iv. 129-142, where he illustrates the idea by the con- 
figurations formed by clouds in the air. 

7. &£ciai 81a t& 8«ik> . . . Such idols can be formed quickly 
because it is only necessary foi enough atoms to unite to form the 
external film, whereas in order to make a normal compound body, it 
would be necessary for all the interior to be filled up (Kara fidOos) as 
well. This is another interesting point which seems to have escaped 

8. &XK01. 82 TptSiroi nvis . . . Lucretius notes one other such possi- 
bility (iv 7246".), when images emitted from things unite in the air to 
form a new compound image. These are the cause of the belief in 
such monsters as Centaurs, Scylla, and Cerberus. 

9. dmpaprupctTai, the passive, seems a necessary correction of 
Weil's for Avripaprvpti. Epicurus could not say, ' none of these 
things witnesses against the senses ' 

ro. &f tis . . . Akoutci. A difficult and obscure sentence 

»»7« N 



All editors agree with Gassendi's correction bmpyttat for fapyttas and 
that the dvo&m of B is the origin of the strange variants ivotcrr) and 
3.vwi Usener also altered the MS. o>a to rtVa ; but with his accentua- 
tion &v /3\bry t« TLva rpbirav tols ivapytlas, rlva icat . . . ivoitrtt. I am 
unable to construe the sentence. It is surely probable that we have 
two parallel clauses, and should accentuate &v fiktirr) tk two. rpAtrov 
rat tvapyeias, rtva koX . . . dcourct? the subject of dvo«r« Will be 
aUrifyo-is (denved from reus ala-d-qatcri) and we shall get the meaning 
' if one looks to see m what way sensation will bring us the clear 
visions from outward things and in what way their qualities ', i. e. if we 
try to investigate by means of our sense-perceptions how we get those 
sense-perceptions both of the near view of objects and of their qualities, 
we find nothing which contradicts the present theory. 

Bignone keeps the MSS. Zva and translates, 'if one observes in a 
certain way the evidence of phenomena to which he must refer . . . ', 
but Ttva rporrov is then very weak, the use of "va. is unnatural and the 
whole idea out of place here. 

t&s trupiraOeiac occurs again in § 50. It means the corresponding 
affections in the images to the atomic positions and movements in the 
original, to which are due the qualities of colour, &c , and any inci- 
dents of change. It is almost impossible to render it in a single word. 
Bignone says, ' the constant continuity of the sensible properties of the 
external objects ' : this seems to me to miss a little the idea of corres- 
pondence : we may perhaps say, ' the corresponding sequence of 
qualities and movements '. 

(4) The letter passes from the consideration of the images and 
their character to that of the act of sight. Two points of some 
importance emerge in this section : ( 1 ) The idea that thought as well 
as sight is due to images ; this was part of the material conception of 
the nature of the soul, and explains Epicurus' habit, already noticed, 
of regarding all thinking as a kind of visualization. (2) The refuta- 
tion, very rare in the letters, of rival theories, namely that of Demo- 
critus of an impression made on the air and that of Empedocles and 
others of the effect of rays passing from the eye to the object. In con- 
tradiction to these Epicurus reasserts clearly and distinctly his own 
theory, and makes the new point that the emission of the images from 
objects is due to the internal vibration of the component atoms. 

§ 49. 2 ical Sttifocioticu • an important addition. Thought too as 
well as sight is due to the influx of images directly into the mind : 
cf. Lucr. iv. 72a ff. He is thinking here, however, not so much of 
the ordinary processes of thought, which employ images or concep- 
tions (irpokipl/ecs) already stored in the mind, as of those rarer processes 
by which we obtain a direct mental image of an external object by 
means of ' fine idols ' which pass directly into the mind without stirring 
the senses. This is above all the means by which we obtain know 
ledge of the gods (cf. Lucr. v. 11 69-1 182). 

06 y&p &v iravoo+payurai-ro . . . Epicurus dismisses two rival 

COMMENTARY. §$ 48-50 


theories. The first is that of Democritus, from whom his system 
was derived, but whose over-refinements he not infrequently rejected. 
Democritus held (Theophr. de Sensu 52) that the effluence from the 
•object did not itself penetrate the eye, but that it formed in the air an 
impression (Aa-oiwwis) in two dimensions, like the impression which an 
object makes in wax, and this impression being hard was able to enter 
the soft materia! (vypov) of the eye and appear there as the image in 
the pupil (fywptwm), which is what we actualiy see. This subtlety 
Epicurus rudely brushes aside, apparendy because he did not believe 
that the air could receive and retain such an impression. Note 
that h>awoo-<f>pa.yC(raiTo recalls closeiy the Democntean idea of the 


4. o48i BiA tuv dKTiywf. The second theory is usually attributed to 
Empedocles and was certainly held by Parmenides, namely that rays 
came from the eyes of the percipient and acting on the effluence from 
the objects joined in forming the image. This theory, which was no 
doubt designed to emphasize the active element in perception, was 
adopted by Plato (Theaet. 153 e, Tim. 45 c, &c.) tS>v Aktivw is the 
MS. text, and Usener's alteration to tow is unnecessary : Epicurus 
means ' the rays ' of which Parmenides and Plato speak 

6. o3tci>s <&s with the whole sentence ■ ' the impression could not be 
produced so weli by either of these two means as by my theory '. 

Tvitiav, ' models ' he wishes for the sake of argument to avoid his 
technical term etSuXuv. 

7 4fj.<>xp<W • the diro -xpouiv of the MSS. appears to be a mere 
mistake derived from diro tG>v -rrpay^ar^v just before. 

kotA t6 iydpfioTToy fiVyeOos, ' according to the appropriate size ', 
1 e. the grosser images affect the sight, the more subtle pass directly 
into the mind and awake a mental image 

8. Tals +opais • the margin of H aione has preserved what must 
certainly be the right reading as against /xo/x£at? — it is because of the 
celerity of their creation and the swiftness of their motion that the 
successive images are able to give a continuous and steady vision. 

§ 50. 2. <rwex°"S> ' continuous', that is in time, ' uninterrupted' 

crupirdOciat' • see note on § 48, 1. 8. 

3 icarA rbv iKtiiQtv CTUfifitTpok- ^ircpcurfuSf — a carefui phrase, ' owing 
to the uniform contact kept up from the object': the succession of 
images makes a continuous line of contact between the object and the 
percipient : for o-u/i^trpov see note on § 47, 1. 3. 

4. Ik ttjs - . . irdXo-etaj. This is a new point: it is the constant 
internal vibration of the atoms deep down within the object which 
forces off the outer fiim that comes to us as an image. 

(5) Truth and falsehood in vision. After describing the genesis of 
the images and the method of their apprehension by the sight and the 
mind, Epicurus returns to the crux of the whole position, the nature 
of truth and falsehood in sight-perception. In the remainder of the 
section he distinguishes carefully between that which is seized by an 

N 2 


act of apprehension (hri^KrfnKS^) either by the mind or by the senses* 
which is true, and the additional inference made by the mind {vpoo-So^a- 
Zo/icvov), which must not be regarded as either true or false until it has 
received the confirmation of the near vision. The general idea is. 
familiar, but it is very difficult to seize the exact meaning, and the 
reader is left with the impression that Epicurus did not very success- 
fully get out of the difficulty caused by the possible alteration of the 
images in their transit from the object to the percipient. 

g. naif\v&v\dfl(iifiet> 4>airacrtaK . . tou trr«p£(jLKt'ou. Another reference 
to the idea of the iirt/3oA>J both of the mind and of the senses : see note on- 
§ 38 and Appendix, pp. 259 ff. Here, since Epicurus is speaking of the 
image of a concrete object (orfpefivtov), it is piobable that (7ri0\>rriK£>« 
t§ Biavoiq. refers only to the first of the two senses of im/SoXi) t^s Sia- 
votas, the apprehension by the mind of subtle images too fine for sense- 
perception, and indeed mainly to the apprehension of images of the 
gods. The sense then is, ' When we have apprehended an image 
either by an act of attention on the part of the mind, undistracted as, 
for instance, in sleep, by other images, or by the active apprehension 
of the senses confirming the first passive impression by the near view, 
we may be certain that the image exactly represents the concrete 
object '. <f>avra<rta is the image created in sense-perception by the 
rapid succession of ' idols ', n* one of which is perceptible in itself : 
in the mind the image may sometimes be produced by a single 'idol '. 

iiripXTj-riKus must be taken both with rfi 8iavoL<j. and rots aia6rjTr]plovt 

and the whole expression corresponds to § 38 rets -rrapovaai e7ri/3t>AAs 

e?T£ Siavoias tW orov Srprort tu>v KpirrjpCwv and §51 below hriftoka<; Trjs 
SiavoCas f) ruiv \ouru>v Kpcnqpuov. 

6. citc cTUfipepT)K<5T«K this refers back to the <rvfnrd6cta of §§ 48 
and 50 It is the ' corresponding sequence ' which gives us the 
' accidents ', colour, movement, &c, of the original object. 

7. pop4>^ i<mw oCttj tou orcpcfmou. Epicurus slates unhesitatingly 
the correspondence of image and actuality in the case of perceptions, 
sensible and mental, made iirifiX.rjTi.KSii, 1 e by an active act of appre- 
hension, and not a mere passive reception of the image. This involves- 
in the case of sight the clear vision of the iyapyr/fjua : he could not say 
that the first vision of the tower as round was ' the shape of the 
object ' : to be sure of that we must get the near vision obtained by 
looking (tTTi/JAj^-iKcis). 

Included in pjop<t>rj we must understand ko.1 to <rv/A/Jcj3ijKOTa. 
yivoptvr] : sc. (fravracrla (not of course /ao/x£jJ), which is picked up in 

katA to i$rfi iruKfupa fj iyicaTclXcifi./ia tou ctSciXou : a very difficult 
and widely differently interpreted phrase. (1) Giussani would take it 
of the succession of images coming to the percipient, ' the successive 
fullness or failure of the images '. This is of course impossible with 
the singular tov «i&iXov. (2) Bignone takes it 'the complete integrity 
oi the image or a remainder of it ', and explains that it refers to the 

COMMENTARY. §§50-51 


Image which arrives at the percipient without loss and that which has 
suffered detrition on the way. But (a) this omits i$rj<; altogether, 
it is surely impossible that Epicurus could say that the image 
produced by the ' idol ' which has suffered detrition (e. g. that of a 
rounded tower) is the shape of the object. (Bignone does not, as I do, 
lay stress on brif}\i)riKu>$ ) (3) It is tempting to translate ' according 
to the successive fullness and hollowness of the idol i.e its successive 
concave and convex parts represent those of the outline of the original 
— but I think this is an impossible sense for lyxaTdXtififia. (4) With 
some hesitation I believe that the two alternatives here correspond to 
roll ahr9rpn]pvoi<s and rjj Siavota, above. The image of sight-percep- 
tion is produced by the ' successive repetitions ' (to i&js TrvKvaifta) of 
the idol: the image in the mind is due to ' the impiession left by' 
{cyKaToAei/Ajuxt.) the idol which penetrated to it. c£?js then goes only 
with u-vKvaifia and not with the whole phrase. 

9. to 8i i|icuSos . . The information given to the senses by the 
images is always true; they represent nothing which is not there in 
the original, even though it may need the ' near vision ' to determine 
whether as they reach us they correspond exactly to the object 
Where then does the possibility of error lie ? Epicurus here recurs to 
the ideas already sketched 111 §§ 37, 38 : it lies in the additions made 
by opinion to sensation («• t£ w/ro(r8o£a£oyaeVa>) The vision of an 
object at a distance should always be regarded as a problem awaiting 
the confirmation (rrpoa-fj-ivov) of the nearer view, by which, if it is either 
confirmed or not contradicted, it is true 

IO-I2 (ivl tou itpoo-p.ivotnro^) . i.t^n^aprupovp.lyou) the addi- 
tions made by Usener are in exact accord with Epicurean usage 
elsewhere and seem demanded by the context 

12. After imfj.aprvpovfjLtvov the MSS. have what is clearly a note on 
to Trpoa-So$at,6/j.ivov derived from the material of the next section : Kara. 
Tiva Kivrjaiv tv fifjiiv carrots (TvvrjfxfxivTqv rjj <pa.vracrrt.icjj eirt^oX^, $ia\Xi)if/t.v 
-Si f^oucrav, ko.6' tjv to i^eCSos yiVerat, ' by means of a movement in 
ourselves closely linked with the visual act of apprehension, but 
differing from it, by which falsehood is produced '. 

§§ 61, 52. There follows a summing up of the doctrine about truth 
and falsehood in vision. On the one hand the exact correspondence 
of the image in sensation to the external object can only be brought 
about by the transit of the ' idols' from the object to the sense-organs • 
on the other error can only arise by the spontaneous movement of the 
mind (opinion) which is akin to the movement of apprehension 
{iiri{lo\rj) It is essential to keep this in mind, if we are successfully 
to distinguish the true from the false 

§ 61. 2 otov et, the reading of the MSS., is certainly right. The 
" idols ' are received by us as ' though they were a picture ' of the 
thing, and the two processes by which this may occur are either (-^) 
"when they visit the undisturbed mind directly in sleep or (7}) when 
they are grasped by an act of apprehension in waking life Usener'fl 



olov 7} would make three processes, but would establish a cross- 
division, as there is no distinct process by which the images are 
received otov tv cUoVi. 

if cUoVi : Bignone translates ' in a plastic representation and draws 
attention to the ' solid ' three-dimension appearance even of the visions 
of sleep. But it is not easy to insist on this sense for *Iku>v, nor does 
it seem necessary. 

3. f) xaO* (jfnrous yivoplwv : the images seen in sleep are true, 
i.e. they are produced by ' idols ' which enter us from without and 
therefore originate from reality. 

H iciit* SXXas 4m0o\a s ttjs SiaKoios: i.e. mental apprehensions 
of an image, when awake — but he is still thinking of direct apprehen- 
sions and not those formed by a combination of irpoAi}^«s: see 
Appendix, pp. 359 ff. 

4. ti tS>v Xotnw KptTt|ptuf see note on § 38, 1. 5. Here again it 
must mean ' or of the other instruments of judgement i.e. the senses, 
and the whole phrase therefore corresponds closely to § 50 iiri/3Ai7rtKu>s 
rfi Smvotij. rj tois aEtr^njpt'ots. The t7rt/3oXi} of the senses is the 
grasping by attention of the ' clear vision ' (evapyei'a). It is possible- 
here that he includes 7ra#os, though it is doubtful whether it could 
have an «n./JoA.*/ the nearest instance to such an idea would be 

.K.'A. XXIV to irapor rfir) Kara . . . to TrdBrj. Note that here Siavota IS 

classed as a Kpirqpiov even more clearly than in § 38. 

6. roiauTa irpoa-8a\\<Sucva is a necessary correction of the MS. text 
ravra jtoos fi (&) fidXkofttv. Von der Muehll retains ravra (sc. the bodies 
which emit the images) irpos & (3dW.ofi.ev, but it is not clear how he 
takes the last words. 

rb Si BiT)fiap-nifUt'ov. The 8t of the MSS. is quite necessary he is 
here opposing the source of error to the source of truth, and Usener's 
Tt really weakens the text. 

7. oXXrjf TifA Kiyrftnv : i.e. opinion, which like the «rtj8o\ij ti}s 
Stavotas is, m Epicurus' view, ultimately a spontaneous movement of 
the atoms of the mind. 

8. o-umjp.p.iri)c p.if (Tp favrtumKfl ^mBoXfj) : the missing dative is 
supplied with certainty from the gloss on § 50 above Opinion is 
closely linked with the In-ifSoXy because it combines images in o-w- 
0eo-is, but it differs in that it acts at random and does not check its 
conclusions by hrifiaprvprjcrit and ovk avrt/iaprvpi^ris. 

8tdXr)+tc Bi ?x oucra, '» ' hut having a difference '. This must certainly 
be the meaning, as Bignone agrees : earlier commentators took it to 
mean ' having opinion but it is itself opinion, and both substantive 
and verb are used m the sense of ' distinction ' distinguish ', in 

9. Kara Zi Taiinji' .... a recapitulation of the ideas of hrifjutprvpri- 
ffit and ovk avrt.(LapTupn]crvi already familiar. 

§62. 1. Kol toottjc ouf . . . : an emphatic warning. 'We must 
have this doctrine constantly in mind ', for otherwise on the one hand 

COMMENTARY. §§ 51-5* 


we shall annul the value of the clear view given by the iirt/3o\at of the 
mtnd and the senses, and on the other by placing the false inference 
of opinion on a level with their information, we shall undermine all our 
standards of judgement and cause universal confusion. For the 
general idea compare K. A. xxiv. 

B. Hearing 

Epicurus passes from the sense of sight to that of hearing. Once 
again it was necessary to establish a material link between the object 
and the percipient, and this he finds in a stream of particles emitted by 
the object. But here there was a new difficulty. In the case of sight, 
since every object is constantly giving off 'idols' in every direction 
at once, it is clear that it may be seen simultaneously by many people. 
But in the case of sound we have a single emission of particles appar- 
ently in one direction : how then can many persons hear at once ? 
Epicurus gets over this difficulty by supposing the material 'sound ' 
after its emission to split up into a number of small particles, each 
preserving the same characteristics (oyKtu o^oto/xepeis), and stretching 
back in a continuous chain to the object. These particles radiate off 
in different directions, and reaching the ears of many persons, produce 
an apprehension of their meaning (tWo-f^o-is) or at least a recogni- 
tion of the presence of an external object. Epicurus does not himself 
directly indicate the necessity for this rather elaborate supposition, but 
it is brought out clearly by Lucretius (iv. 563-567): 

praeterea verbum saepe unum perciet auris 
omnibus in populo, missum praeconis ab ore 
in multas lgitur voces vox una repente 
diffugit, in privas quoniam se dmdit auns 
obsignans formam verbi clarumque sonorem. 

As in his discussion on sight, so here he disposes briefly of rival 

5. ^cuparos : the MSS. have irveu/taTos, which is not m itself im- 
possible and is supported by pev/iaros irveviJ.aT<o8ov<; below (§ 53), but 
to 8c pevjjLci tovto in the next sentence makes Gassendi's correction 

6. diri tou ^woOn-os . . . irapaaKiud^orros a most scrupulous expres- 
sion of all the possible kinds of sound, showing that Epicurus is writing 
here with care. 

8. Apoiopepus oYKous, ' particles like, as parts, to the whole ' — the 
adjective employed by Anaxagoras to express his famous theory that 
all things were composed of particles like in substance to the whole : 
likeness of shape, however, is what Epicurus would most wish to insist 
on here. The oynoi will be small atomic compounds, of acute parti- 
cles for shrill sounds, and rounder particles for lower sounds : Giussam 
is wrong in attempting to see a technical sense of ' molecules \ 


aufiwddnav, 'correspondence', as in §§ 48, 50. Here of general 
hkeneBS of character. 

9. Ico-njTo CSnSrpoirof : another careful expression, ' a unity consisting 
in peculiarity of character '. The idea is of several chains of similar 
particles, stretching from the speaker to the hearer. 

10. tV iitai<r9i\a-iv, ' comprehension ' as opposed to mere aZo-0?pne ' 
we not only hear a person speaking but ' catch his words ', i e under- 
stand what he is saying, 

iit Ikiivov . in the percipient as opposed to to diroorcIXav. 
£>s tA iroXXtt is wrongly expunged by Usener as a gloss : we do not 
always comprehend what we hear. 

11. Troiouorae and 12. irapaaKtudlouaav, is the MS. reading and is 
probably right ; Epicurus conceives of the evdr^ iSw-rporros as a 
perfectly concrete ' chain ' of particles, which actually causes the 
hearing Usener alters unnecessarily to Troiovvras . . . ■n-apao-Keua^orras 
referring to oyxous. But the oyKoi would not themselves cause 
iiratodiqaii if they were not connected by the ' chain ' to the object 
which emits the sounds. 

«E Sc firj y € • • • '• even if we do not hear distinctly enough to com- 
prehend the meaning of the sounds, at least the particles which reach 
us make clear to us the presence of some object outside us 

§ 53. 2. oCk civt&v our 8c! ro^eif . . Epicurus is once again arguing 
against Democritus, whose explanation of hearing was given on just 
the same lines as his theory of vision (Theophr. de Sensu 55). He 
held that ' the air is torn up {fip\nrrta-6a.C) into bodies of similar shape 
{6/JLoio(rx>7/xova) and is assimilated to the particles which issue from the 
voice' (Aet. iv. 19. 13): i.e that the bodies of voice, which we emit, 
form dironnraxrtts of themselves, just as do the idols of sight, and that 
it is these ' impressions ' which come into contact with our sense- 
organs. Epicurus' comment is again purely contemptuous, ' this is 
very far from happening ' 

4. rS>v 6noyev£>v i.e. 'similar sounds', i.e noises which are not 
significant : cf. tJ^oOitos rj \po4>ovvro<: above 

5 irdo-xeie is a necessary correction of the variants traa-\ti>v and 
irda-^ov. Von der Muehll retains iraa^wv, referring presumably to drjp. 

6. JkOX.i+h', 'a squeezing out'. The MSS. here show traces of a 
serious corruption, most of them getting no farther than e/c Usener 
emends ZytcXuriv, ' swerve ', a very improbable word for Epicurus to 
have used here, and one which would not account for the variants 
inXi&rjv, inkrjBriv of the only MSS. which produce a word at all. 
I .have little doubt that IxdXityiv is right . Bneger {Eptkurs Lthre von 
der Seele, p. 6) has confidently made the same emendation. It would 
account well for the variants, and is a technical term of the atomists for 
the ' squeezing out ' of particles between others surrounding them. It 
is then a very appropriate word for the emission of particles from the 
throat. For its use in Epicurean writings see Ep. 11, § 109, 4. 

o-yKuy TiywK . the authority of the MSS. is distinctly in favour of 

COMMENTARY. §§ 52-53 


toi&v, rather than tiv<$?, which is preferred 'by Usener and Bignone, 
but would involve a very unnatural order of words 

7. diroTeXeo-rtK&v again is the MS reading, and there is no reason 
to follow Usener in altering it to AiroreXttrruajv. It is indeed more 
natural to conceive of the particles forming the stream of breath, than 
of their emission doing so. A favourite word in the second letter . see 
§§ 101, 102, 108. 

C. Smell. 

Continuing with the senses in order Epicurus proceeds to smell 
and decides that it too is due to the effluence of pai tides, which are of 
such a size as to enter into and stn the sense-organs. Lucretius has 
again (iv. 673-705) considerably elaborated the treatment of the sub- 
ject, and explains (a) that it is owing to the accommodation or the 
reverse of the various shapes to the sense-organs of the percipients 
that smells which are good to some animals are bad to others, 
(3) that the particles of smell are much more easily destroyed in 
transit than those of sound or the idols of sight. 

10. ook cU> ttotc . . . ^pyckratrOai. because no sensation (7ra0os) can 
be produced without touch, and therefore contact must be produced 
between object and percipient by means of a concrete effluence. 

11. erujijjt€Tpoi irpds t& . . . Kiveiv m'/x^crpos i*> not here used in the 
technical sense in which it occurred in §§47, 50, but more generally 
' fitly formed to . .' 

12. TrrapayjjL^iiis icai dXXoTpiws . . ?xo>rts i.e. they are both dis- 
ordered among themselves, they do not fit well together, and are alien 
in shape to the particles which compose the sense-organs of the 
percipient, and therefore produce the effect of a bad smell. Cf. Lucr 
11. 414-41? • 

neu simih penetrare putes primordia forma 
in naris hommum, cum taetra cadavera torrent, 
et cum scena croco Cilici perfusa recens est 
araque Panchaeos exhalat propter odores. 

It might have been expected that there would be sections on taste and 
touch: Lucretius deals fully with taste in iv. 615-672. But probably 
Epicurus would assume a knowledge of these in his more advanced 

IV. The Atoms their Properties, Parts, and Motion. 

Epicurus now returns to the atom and discusses at length its 
properties, constitution, and motion. The main conception of the 
nature of the atom he inherits from Leucippus and Democntus, but 
he has greatly elaborated it, especially in the conception of the 
mmimae paries, and in some details as regards motion. This section 
would more naturally have preceded the discussion of the theory of 
sensation and Ought possibly to be transposed, but the order of topics 



in the letter is so irregular as compared with that in Lucretius, which 
may be taken to represent the normal Epicurean tradition, that it is 
best not to attempt transposition, except in certain small sections 
where it seems absolutely necessary (e. g. §§ 46, 47). 

A. Properties of the aiom. 

These are, according to Epicurus, shape, size, and weight. The last 
was probably added by Democntus m order to explain the movement 
of the atoms. 

(1) Epicurus argues that the atoms do not possess any of the qualities 
(or properties) which attach to compound bodies, except the primary 
properties of shape, size, and weight. For qualities are changeable 
and the atoms are ex hypothesi unchangeable, and it is their arrange- 
ment one with another, which is the cause of change in compounds. 
In elaborating the conception of shape he introduces the idea of the 
inseparable parts of the atom, which is dealt with at length in §§ 58, 
59 The argument of this subsection is not explicitly stated in 
Lucretius, but is implied in 1. 503—634 and again in 11. 478—521. 

§ 64. 2 irpoer+tpeaOai : lit. ' claim for themselves '. 

3. 6aa <4 dvayKTjs °X 1 ^( J1 ' aTt i<m . the necessary accompani- 
ments of shape in the Epicurean doctrine would be amrvn-Ca, the 
capacity to strike against other atoms (cf. Sextus, adv Dogm iv. 257 

Kara adpoivfLov CTjf^/xaTos T« koX fitytOovs Kai avTirwrias *a! /Sapous to 

a-St/jLa vevofjaffai), and the possession of inseparable parts : cf. §§ 58, 59 

4. ouScV : a necessary correction made by Z and f for ovSe. 

5. iireiB^jirtp Sei . . . Epicurus here bases his argument on the 
fundamental principles of the system enunciated in §§ 38, 39: ' noth- 
ing is created out of the non-existent ' and ' nothing is destroyed 
into the non-existent '. In the dissolution of compound bodies, 
whose qualities are then lost, there must be something which 
remains constant, we must ultimately arrive at particles which are not 
dissoluble, but permanently retain their shape, size, and weight, 
i.e. at the atoms. It is they which cause the creation, alteration, and 
dissolution of compound bodies by their meetings, changes of position, 
and separations. For the general idea compare Sextus, adv. Dogm. 
iv. 42 (Us. fr. 291). 

7. &\XcL Kara fLCTaOiaeit . . . 8 d<|xSSou9. The MSS. have dAAa xara 
/xcradco-cis iv 7r<AAoZs tivwv Se xa! Trpoo-oSovs Kai d<£oSous. (l ) The tradi- 
tional correction, adopted by Giussani (Lucr. i. 681 note) is dAAa Kara 
/xeratftcrcis piv Tro\k£>v, nv&v 8i Kai . . But, apart from palaeographical 
difficulties, this represents ' rearrangement ' and ' addition and subtrac- 
tion ' of atoms as concurrent causes needed to produce change, whereas 
they are in fact alternative causes : change may be due to atomic 
rearrangement, or it may be due to the addition or subtraction of 
atoms in the compound, (a) Usener would excise iv 71-oAAoZs . • • 
&$6&ov<; as a varta lecito to explain luroSta-KK, but the words twwv ■ • 

COMMENTARY. §§53-55 

AtjxiSovs are absolutely essential to the sense : /tirade'crn? will not 
account for all changes in compounds, some (e.g. increase or decrease 
in size) must be due to the addition of new atoms or the departure of 
some hitherto included in the compound : cf. Lucr. 1. 675 ff. : 

certissima corpora quaedam 
sunt quae conservant naturam semper eandem, 
quorum abitu aut aditu mutatoque ordine mutant 
naturam res et convertunt corpora sese. 
(3) Bignone excises lv iroAAms (sc. dn-oypd^ois-) as a lemma introducing 
the addition tlvSsv 8« k<x\ . . . and supposes that (tivw) has fallen out 
by haplography. This gives the required sense, and seems on the 
whole the best solution of a rather uncertain passage. 

9 t& (tip pcT<m&pcra. The MSS. have to. /xtj ixtraridtixtva, which 
is impossible, and Usener's to. $r) /MTanfle/iera is very improbable, to 
fixv might be justified either as used with an implied apodosis (cf § 36 
fia&uTTtov /iEv ow and § 37 irpG>Tov fiiv ovv, where fiiv does not go 
closely with ovv), Or as picked up rather irregularly by oyKous 8i . . 

10. oyicoiis Si koI <rx»j)J"*Ti<r^.oOs uBious. The atoms have ' parts and 
arrangements of their own ' which are constant and unchangeable. 
oyKovs is here an anticipation of the discussion in §§ 56-58, and is used 
of the 'least inseparable parts ' of the atom which Epicurus there calls 
iripara, and which are the measure of its extension. The o-xTjfiaTio-fios 
of an atom depends on the arrangement of Us iripara. Bignone 
points out that Epicurus is here arguing against both the vague inde- 
terminate matter (vkri) which Aristotle, following Plato, had assumed 
as the ultimate constituent, and also against Democritus, who had said 
that the atom has no parts Epicurus holds that it has determinate 
parts, but these are inseparable. 

11. inopivtiv, the reading of the MSS., must certainly be kept 

' this much (sc. the parts and the shape) must remain as constant ' • the 
shape of the atoms, constituted by the arrangement of their minimae 
partes, is the ultimately permanent thing in all matter, rovro is used 
loosely, but need not be emended to ravra (cf. § 55 tovtov 7iy>o<ro»To?) 
Usener, misunderstanding the passage, altered vrrofievciv to vrroridivai, 
1 this we must assume but the alteration is quite gratuitous . 
Kochalsky retaining iwo/xcvtiv cuts out tovto . avayKatov, ' the atoms 
must remain as particles and shapes again a gratuitous alteration 
based on a misunderstanding Bignone agrees with me in retaining 
the MS. text : mo^n-ai' is vouched for by to v7roAei7ro/«va below. 

§ 5B 1. koX yap iv -rots ... 5. AiroXXufiei'a.i : a rather difficult and 
obscure sentence. Epicurus is as usual appealing to the experience 
of phenomena : when they change their shape by being reduced in 
size, we see that they lose their other qualities, but still retain the 
property of shape : much more must the atoms, which have no other 
qualities to lose, and cannot be diminished in size, retain their shape. 
Bignone aptly compares Lucr. n. 826, where Lucr. explains that if you 
divide a piece of purple cloth into smaller and smaller particles, the 


smaller the particle the fainter becomes the colour until it is finally 
lost : but the smallest particle will still have shape. 

a. kotA i4|f ir«piaip«<rif, 'by taking off bits all round sc. by diminu- 
tion in size. 

5. UocA oEr . . . : i.e. it has thus been shown that atoms, possessed 
onjy of size, shape, and weight, are sufficient, since they remain 
permanent, to account for all the varieties in sensible things 

7. Koi (p,^) . the MSS. have only xal, which Usener boldly emends 
to owe. It is surely more natural to suppose that /xtj has dropped out 
owing to the succeeding cts to fir/ 5v. Bignone supplies li.rjSZv as a 
reference to the fundamental axiom that nothing is destroyed into the 

(2) Epicurus now passes to a new conside ration with regard to the 
size of the atoms. They vary in size, but are not of all sizes. A 
certain amount of variation in size is sufficient to account for the 
varieties in phenomena, and if the atoms were of all sizes, some would 
have to be so large as to be actually visible to us. Here again 
Epicurus is diverging from Democntus, who, apparently not perceiving 
this objection, stated that the atoms were ' unlimited in size ' (airttpov? 
Kara. fttyeOoi, D. L. ix 44), and again that ' some atoms were very 
large' /xeyto-ra<;. Lucretius apparently dealt with this subject in a 
passage which has been lost before 11 478, for he speaks of the point 
as already proved in 499. 

10. irapoXXovds ' not of course changes of size in individual atoms, 
which are unchangeable, but a series of variations of size. 

11. toiStou 1 e. the variation of size, used vagueiy as toSto yap in 
§ 54 fin- Differences of size together with differences of shape in the 
atoms account for differences of sensation and qualities in phenomena. 

§ 56. 1 uirdpxoy is the reading of the MSS. and will construe quite 
well . it is unnecessary to alter with Usener to v7rapx (LV > which would 
moreover almost demand an article. 

2. &p* fSti (Usener) seems to be indicated by the dfUXti of the 
MSS., though H Weil's suggestion <Jv ?&ci might be right. 

4. 6parf| a-rop-os need not be excised from the text with Usener as 
a gloss. It is not absolutely required for the construction, but makes 
it clearer 

B Paris of the atom. 

Epicurus, having decided that there is an upward limit to the size 
of the atoms, proceeds to consider the downward limit : can the atoms 
be infinitely small ? His decision is again in the negative : there is a 
limit also to the smallness of the atom. But his discussion of this 
point leads him necessarily to the wider consideration of the limit of 
divisibility in general, and so to the conception of the atom itself. He 
argues against infinite divisibility on two main grounds : (1) that unless 
you can reach a permanent existence, a point beyond which division is 
Impossible, there is no substratum of strength and durability in the 

COMMENTARY. §§55-56 


universe • it is necessary, as he said in § 41, that there should be 
Urxv&v rt, which is permanent , (a) that on the analogy of sensible 
things, in which there is a minimum visibile, there must also be a 
minimum of existence in the atom. The conception of the atom thus 
reached is that it is of a determinate size, has extension, and there- 
fore must have parts ; you could think of a top and bottom and right- 
hand and left-hand parts of it • but the atom could never be divided 
into these parts. These parts are the minimum of extension and can 
only exist as parts of the atom : the atom itself is the minimum of 
physical existence. 

The argument is complicated and difficult. Considerable help is 
obtained from the parallel passage in Lucretius (1. 599-634) where the 
doctrine of the mimmae paries of the atom is expounded. Giussam 
in his essay on the Lucretian Atomia (vol. 1, pp 39-84, and especially 
PP- 5 2 > 56-75) has done great service in elucidating the general ideas, 
though his treatment of individual passages is sometimes arbitrary. 
Bignone in his notes and Appendix bnngs out many points clearly, 
especially as regards Epicurus' opposition to the Eleatics. 

Epicurus firbt argues generally that in a limited body there 
cannot be an infinite number of parts nor can the parts be infinitely 
small ■ the two ideas are of course interdependent. If the parts were 
infinite in number, they must be infinitely small in size and vice versa. 
We must therefore in the first place reject the belief in to/m) tis 
avtipov iiri touAjxttov, in the possibility of an infinite physical sub- 
division of matter into smaller and smaller particles : for otherwise we 
shall ' make all things weak 1 and have no permanent substratum, and 
by constantly ' pounding ' matter up into smaller and smaller particles 
we shall annihilate it. Secondly, we must not believe in the possibility 
of an ideal progress m thought to ever smaller and smaller particles, 
such as the Eleatics conceived. The argument against this idea is set 
out in the following sections 

g. iv tw hipi&fiivui awfiari is here quite general ' in any limited body ' 
He proceeds to apply the idea to a perceptible body in § 58 and by 
analogy to the atom in § 59. 

t 6. direipou? . . . Airt|XtKous oZv, ' infinite in number' or < of any size you 
will', i.e. as is obvious from the context ' of any smallness you will', 
' infinitely small '. The ideas are complementary. 

Sore ofi \i6vov ... Of the two processes discussed in this clause 
the first is the physical process of infinite division (to/at; tU &.ir*ipov iiri 
TovkaTTov) and corresponds to the notion of airctpoi AyKoi, the second a 
mental or ideal process of ' passing ' in thought to ever smaller and 
smaller particles (jj,tTaf3axr<s tJs ot7retpov eirl TovAan-ov) and corresponds 

to the notion of Syxoi oirrjkiKoi ovv. 

•j. tV e« Sircipoi' -ro|iiqf • the ' cutting up ' of the limited body, first 
into halves, then into quarters, then into eighths, and so on to infinity 
Lucretius argues against the possibility of such infinite division in 
i.551 flf., in a subtle passage which has been well expounded byGiussam. 



Zva ■w&tna &a9*vr\ -m&fxtv : Epicurus states two reasons why 
infinite divisibility must be rejected. In the first place, if we could 
carry on the process of division without limit and cut things up into 
ever more and more minute particles, we should utterly deprive things 
of physical force. For any particle capable of further subdivision must 
have in it an admixture of void and would therefore be ' weak ', 
Le. subject to further dissolution from external blows: we should 
never arrive at anything which could be a source of permanent 
strength. The idea is that of § 41 utirep . . . fxiXXei . . . loywiv n 
{nrofUvtiv. Lucretius (i. 565 ff.) puts the same notion more simply . 
if there are hard permanent particles (the atoms) we can explain the 
creation of soft things by the admixture of void : but if the particles 
are ' soft ', we cannot account for the creation of hard things. 

8. k&v Tats ircpi\^<|if<ri ... 9. KaTaKaXicrKciK The second reason. 
We must follow Usener in writing k&v for the MS. kcu, but even so the 
clause is obscure. The meaning I take to be this. In the formation 
of actual compound bodies, the solid atoms are the source of strength, 
which enables the compound to have the powers of matter (cf. Lucr. 
i. 628-634). If there were a possibility of infinite subdivision, aggre- 
gate bodies would be built up of ' weak ' particles they would not 
thus have the underlying strength, which is necessary to create material 
things, and to enable them to keep together : they would cease to be 
' matter ' or ' body ' at all In his own atomic world Epicurus denies 
the possibility of anything being dissolved into the ^ 5v : in a world 
without ultimate hard particles it would inevitably occur. 

ircpiXTpjnt means literally ' a marking off of a thing so as to be 
separate from others ' (cf. &ircpi\-frrru><; in i. 42): so 'the separating 
off of atoms to aggregate themselves into a compound body'. 
Bignone, following Kochalsky, would translate ' conception but 
Epicurus is speaking here of actual things and not of our conceptions 
of them. 

9. tA SeTa : Giussani insists that this means compound bodies, 
' things '; Bignone that it must mean ' atoms ', the only real existences. 
It is surely inclusive and implies both, just as does ru> wpwfttv^ 
above. Through this section Epicurus' argument is general, and it is 
only in §§ 58 and 59 that he is thinking specially first of phenomena 
and then of the atoms. 

ftXCfioKTff KaTaroXiffKeiv are more than usually picturesque words for 
Epicurus, ' by pounding things up to fritter them away into nothing'. 

10. dXXA Kal tJjk pcT&fia<ri>> . . . it firfi' (tiri) roSKarroy. We pass to 
the second idea, which must be rejected. Not only is it possible to 
conceive of the physical division of things into smaller and smaller 
particles, but in imagination we may conceive a mental process by 
which we ' pass ' from one part of a body to another. In perceptible 
things, as Epicurus explains below, we may look at one (Lupav or 
extreme point after another : with the atoms we may conceive our- 
selves conducting the same process. Now it is clear that in a limited 

COMMENTARY. §§ 56-57 


body we cannot do this th dirtipov tin. to "trov : if we conceive of these 
minute particles as all of one size and ' pass ' from one to another 
successively, we shall sooner or later reach the sum total which 
constitutes the aggregate body. Still less can we have /wra/Souris eU 
Smeipov iiri to /ml£ov, in which we proceed from smaller to larger 
particles: for we shall reach the aggregate sooner. But we might 
suppose ourselves to continue the process eis arretpov iiri TovAairov, 
passing first in perception and then in thought to ever smaller and 
smaller particles. Such an idea is of course Eleatic, and we may com- 
pare the old problem of Achilles and the tortoise. But, says Epicurus, 
we must not even suppose such a process possible : for, if it were, we 
should similarly have a finite body composed of infinite particles, even 
though each were smaller than the last. The argument is leading up 
to the conception of the mtnimae partes. 

ir. (jit|o' (iiri) TotlXaTTOK. Gassendi's addition iiri is necessary for 
the sense, and is of course vouched for by to/utjv iirt TovXarrov above 
The MSS. (reading /n^oe or /aij Se) clearly indicate /u.t/S*, though the 
passage might be easier without it: Giussani, who has interpreted the 
general notion very clearly, has ignored its effect • ' not only must we 
reject /AtTu/Jao-cs tit dirapov ini to Icrov or iiri to fjnt^ov, but we cannot 
even admit it iirt ToCAaTroy ' 

§ 67. Epicurus proceeds to support his 1 ejection of to/at/ and /mto- 
/Jams cts kiriipov iiri rov\arrov by two arguments . the first based on 
the idea of To/ti? shows that logically such a conception is impossible ; 
the second examines the notion of fi.cTdf3a.o-i>; and shows that it too 
in a finite body cannot be conducted tJs drreipov Iiri TovKarrov. The 
text and the structure of the sentences is rather uncertain, the view 
I have adopted with some hesitation being that of Bignone 

(a) The argument is a reductio ad absurdum. You cannot either 
conceive how infinite parts, however small, could be contained in a 
finite body, nor how, if the parts were infinite, the body could be finite. 
For the parts must be of some size, however small, and the sum of 
an infinite number of them must itself be infinite in size. 

1. out* yo.p Jhriiis • • • Zoti yorjo-at is then parallel to the direct 
question ttSs t' &v . . . to /Aeyrtfos, and with ottuk must be supplied 

something like tovto yevoir av ; cf. § 56. 3 ovS' SVios &v yivono bparrf 
5to/aos fo-rtv iirivorjuai. The ellipse is awkward, but not, I think, 
impossible, especially in the near neighbourhood of the fuller expres- 
sion. Giussani would follow F in omitting otto?, and then construct 

oiW* €OTl VOTjlTOX TTUH T O.V . . .TO /XCy£0OS . . ., OLKpOV T€ ?xovros . . . 

(ovk fori . . . vottv) fif) ov . . . But {a) ovre has then nothing to corre- 
spond to it, (b) the picking up of ov#c la-rt voijo-ai by oixria-ri votiv in the 
second member is awkward, (c) the MS. testimony is overwhelmingly 
in favour of the retention of oirtos. 

a ftircipoi Synoi . . . <\ 6itt)X.i'koi o$v : corresponding exactly to dwtlpovt 
SyKow . . . oiS' inrqkiKovs oZv in § 56. 6. Usener would read oi 
tirriXiKoi ow, constructing it after vorjtrai, 'for, if you once say that 


there are infinite parts in a body or parts of any degree of smaUness, 
it is not possible to conceive of what size they would be ', but (a) this 
is quite irrelevant to the argument, (6) the previous parallel makes % 
certain, (<r) Usener appears to neglect 5r<os altogether. 

4. irt)XiK(M ydp rivet ... 6. koi to prfy«6os. A parenthesis reinforcing 
the last argument . a body composed of infinite parts, however small, 
must itself be infinite : for the parts must have some size, and if they 
are infinite in aumber, their sum will be infinite in size. 

5. After wit ootoi all the MSS. except B have i£ S>v, which must, as 
Usener points out, be intended as a variant for xal ovroi . but there is 
no reason to adopt it. 

6. Sicpoi' t« ix " * • • • io- Tfj ifKOMf.. The second argument has 
been well explained by Gmssani (Joe. ctt., p. 67). Epicurus' opponent 
might admit that a /Aera/Jcwris t£s to la-ov could not proceed to infinity, 
but he would say that a lurafiao-is tit to IXarrov could. Epicurus asks 
hun to consider the process more closely: he might go on for a while 
' passing ' from a larger to a smaller part of a perceptible thing, but he 
would ultimately reach a part of it so small that though ' it was distin- 
guishable, it was not perceptible by itself', i.e. could only be seen as 
part of the whole. On either side of this he could proceed to ' equal ' 
parts, but not to smaller parts, as they would not be visible at all. 
Similarly, as he will show m § 59, in the atom itself we must reach 
a part which is ' distinguishable but not separable '. /xtra/3ao-« cis 
tovXottov then cannot be continued to infinity, for after a while it 
becomes /*era/3ao-i.? its t6 Icrov, and that ex hypothesi is incapable in 
a finite body of prolongation to infinity. 

dKpov, ' the extreme visible point ' of the perceptible body, which is, 
as Epicurus very exactly explains, StoA^m-oV, for it can in thought 
be separated from other component a/cpa, but ov naff lavrb Bvaptfrov, 
perceptible only as a part of a whole ; by itself it would pass out of 
the field of vision. 

7. Ocwprrrde is a necessary correction for the MS. fWpijreW. 

8. ofiit ?ori . . . 10. ivKoiif. The construction is ovk fori votiv 
(<j) fir] oo koi to ££qs tovtov toiovtov (tlvat) kcu (£) ovno . . . fiaBtfcovTa 
. , . virdpx*iy f'S to awtipov Kara, to toiovtov tyiKveiorOai, ' it is not 
possible to conceive that the next aKpov should not be similar (in size), 
or that a person going on in this way to successive &Kpa. should be 
able to proceed to infinity '. 

o^rw with fJaoilorra. Usener adopts tovto from BF 1 , taking it with 
virapxtw ' that this should occur, namely that he should arrive ' : the 
construction is unnatural. Giussani with less probability reads ov tC, 
constructing the sentence ovk tori vottv ov (a) kcu. to ffij? tovtov 
rownrrw (£) «at ov t£ , . . /JaS^ovra {nrapxttv : the sense is the same, 
but the accumulation of negatives unnecessary and almost unbearable. 

io, (tA) is a necessary insertion made by Schneider. 

§ 58. Epicurus proceeds to a more careful analysis of the 'least 
part in perception ' in order to apply the analogy from aurBijo-n to the 

COMMENTARY. §§ 57-58 

idea of the structure of the atom. The axpov is djj.tTa.j3a.Tov ; you 
cannot within the limits of this ' smallest visible ' part, pass to anything 
less than itself. It is like /AeTa/?aTd in that it has extension, but it is 
unlike them in that it has not itself distinguishable parts. If trying to 
look at an ' extreme point ' we think that we are ' passing ' within its 
own limits to something smaller, 1 e to a part of it, we are mistaken, 
and our eye has m reality only slipped on to the next extreme point 
We may, however, pass from one a.Kpov to the next, which is like it 
and equal to it, and so in course of time our eye might travel over the 
whole surface of the object. In this way the a.Kpov becomes the 
measure of the object's size : for the larger the object the more uKpa 
it will contain. 

1. to . . Adx urrc "' TO * v "rfj aia-9r]o-ei ' The least part visible ', ' the 
minimum for pel ception ', which Epicurus refers to also as uKpov 
cf. Lucr. 1. 599 ' extremum . . cacumen '. 

2 ourt toioutoV icrrii' . . it it. unlike in that it has itself no distin- 
guishable parts. 

3. to t&s (itTaPdo-cis *xpv, 'that which does, permit of passing fiom 
part to part '. Bignone notes rightly that the pluial tus ^era/Jdo-cis 
must include /AfTa/Sacris eVi to' and itri Tov\aTTOv as well as iirl 
to io-ov We may take as an illustration a line, which we may divide 
either into equal parts, of which we may pioceed from one to the 
other, or into a senes of unequal paits, when we may either proceed 
hri to ixti^ov until we have reached the end of the line, or iiri 
TovXaTTov until we come down lo the minimum visibde, when we still 
have to proceed iirl to lo-ov until we leach the end . see notes 011 §57. 

outc . . dyojioioi' it is ' not altogethei unlike ' //.era/Jara in that it 
has extension 

4 fx 01 ' - Tl|,a Koi^oTTiTa, 'having some community' or 'affinity' 
with jueTa/3aTd. 

5 Sicl\T|i|>if pepur, ' possibility of distinguishing parts '• cf aKpov 
StaXrjTrTov, tl fir/ Kaff iavro OtwprjTov in § 57 6 The ahpov is itself the 
least distinguishable part of the whole and cannot itself have distinguish- 
able parts. 

5. d\X* oTa^ . . . Sei irpoo-TriTTTtn' We may sometimes be misled by 
this affinity with /AeTajSard and suppose that because the 3. K pov has 
extension, we shall be able to divide it too up into a right-hand and a 
left-hand pait, i e. to proceed farther m the process of /A«Td/3a<xis *is 
TovXaTTov. But if we try experimentally to do so, we shall find that 
each tune we think we are looking at the right-hand or left-hand part 
of an axpov, we have really passed in sight lo the next aKpov, and from 
it are surveying the fir 1 -!. 

d\\* oTaf. The MSS have AW' ore or oWotc, but Cobet's cotrec- 
tion AW' oTav is necessary. 

Sid tV . . . Trpotren<f>^p£tae, 'on account of the similarity of the 
common characteristic ', 1 e extension. 

7. to ioov, sc. another aKpov like the first : ■n-poo-m-nreiK, ' fall into our 
»m o 



ken ', ' meet our sight ', used no doubt with reference to the idea of the 
ctSuXa of vision ' falling into' the eye. 

l£fjs tc OecupoOfiee . . . i\irru JXottok. As we move our sight over 
the object, we see a succession of such cUcpa: and by reckoning up 
their number, thus successively perceived, we can reckon the size of 
the object. But the sentence contains some new and subtle points. 

8. ouk tv tcS auTu: when on the analogy of the ^.ETa/Sara we tried 
to distinguish the parts of the aKpov, we imagined they would be 
' inside the same ' axpov : but, as shown above, we found that we were 
really looking at fresh axpa outside it. I have little doubt that with 
tv t<3 avrw we should supply axpoj (Giussani, Bignone) and not take it, 
as Hicks does, to mean ' in the same space ', which is quite inconsis- 
tent with the argument. The argument is largely directed against 

9 ooSi plpctri. fxtpuv dirT(5|j.ei'a Contact implies parts which touch . if 
I place two bodies m contact, it means that parts of each are in 
juxtaposition : but as the m/u have no parts, this is with them 
impossible They cannot touch but only succeed one another, you 
cannot see the edge or extreme point of an aKpov, but only look at it, 
as it were, from the next aKpov As Giussani points out, Epicurus is 
here meeting a possible argument of the Eleatic School ■ a line, they 
might say for example, consists of a series of points, which touch each 
other, but each of these points again consists of smaller points in 
juxtaposition and so on to infinity. But Epicurus imposes a limit 
you reach in perceptible objects one so small that it has no parts 
which can touch, and beyond that you cannot go farther in the world 
of vision. 

dXX* ^ . . . fXaTToy Though these a*pa have themselves no 
parts and cannot be in contact, yet because they have extension, they 
form a unit of size, and to say that a body is larger or smaller is in 
effect only to say that it contains a greater or smaller number of a«pa. 

tv Tjj ISkSttjti T|j iauruy, ' by virtue of their peculiar characteristics 
i.e. of the possession of extension without distinguishable parts. 

After this very careful examination of the afiirdfiaTa or ' least 
points ' m sensible things, Epicurus turns to its application to the 
structure of the atom and maintains that the analogy is complete. 
The atom too has its least parts, which themselves have only extension 
and no parts, and never came together to form the atom, but have 
always existed in it; for indeed apart from it they could have no 
material existence at all. Having explained the character of the 
sensible points so elaborately, he is content now with a brief drawing 
of the parallel. The assumption of the analogy may appear arbitrary, 
but it is a characteristic application of the Epicurean principle that 
the dSrjXa must be explained on the analogy of phenomena. 

ii. dcaXoyi^. Giussani translates ' the same characteristics ', Hicks 
■ follows the same analogy ', Bignone ' such an analogy '. But the 
word in Greek means ' proportion ', ' relation ', and toxtq must mean 

COMMENTARY. §§ 58-59 


' this which I have described ' in relation to the sensible minima. 
I should then translate ' the same proportion ' or ' relation ' to the 
whole body. So again in § 59. 2 below. 

§ 59. 3. icixPTnu . Gassendi's correction is necessary : the K«xPW#ai 
of the MSS. is merely due to Ktxpy<r&a<- above, § 58. 12. 

4. kcitA t))v (tuk) itn-aOSa dva.Xoyiai', ' in virtue of its relation to 
things here' (i.e. perceptible things) Usener's addition (tc3»-) is 
necessary, and the MSS. are particularly liable to leave out one of two 
consecutive articles : cf. § 47*. 3. 

na.Tr)Yopii<rafio' . i. e. in § 54. 

jiitcpriK ti fi6vov jiaKpAi' ^K^dWofTEs. Usener's correction, fiaxpav 
for fuxKpov, seems necessary, but even so the form of expression is 
odd . lit. ' only as a small thing casting it (the atom) far away ', 
i.e. 'only placing it far below perceptible things in smallness'. So 
apparently Giussani who paraphrases, ' only that its size is very much 
smaller'. Bignone takes it slightly differently, 'only removing to 
a distance (protrarre lontano) a determined degree of smallness', 
1. e. assuming that the minimum of perceptible things repeats itself far 
below in the scale as a minimum of extension, but this is putting 
rather too much into p.iKpov ru Hicks takes it, ' herein we have 
merely reproduced something small on a large scale ' (reading pre- 
sumably (jLaxpov), an unnatural sense for Ik/JcUAovtcs and not what 
Epicurus wants to say 

5. in tc . . . twv dopdiw : a development of the analogy . just as 
the sensible least points act as a unit of the measurement of the size of 
concrete bodies, so do the least points act as the measurement of the 
size of the atom, 1 e. the atoms vary in size according to the number 
of irtpara which they contain. Epicurus conceived the normal atom 
as consisting of three or four nlpara. cf. Lucr 11. 485 ff. 

There is some difficulty as to the construction of the sentence. The 
older editors took to eXa^tora koi d./jLiy!j irlpwra. together, in which 
case we must either translate vofiifcciv, ' believe in ', which is very 
improbable, or suppose that it is constructed with the participle Trapa- 
o-KcvdZovTa, which is again irregular Usener, perceiving this difficulty, 
supposed a small lacuna after irapaxTKevd^ovra, which would have con- 
tamed an infinitive such as tpaCvtaOat or tpavepa ylyvecrBai, This is 
unnecessary, if with Giussani and Bignone we take ra . . a/ityrj as 
subject and iripara. as predicative ' we must regard the least indivisible 
points as ' . 

Most editors take twv /xtjkwv with iripara, placing a comma after 
p.r]K<ov and another after Trapao-KevdL^ovra. . so Bignone, who translates, 
' the extreme boundaries of extension '. This would surely require 
tov /jL.r/Koxk, and I prefer to take tw /jltjkZv, ' the sizes of individual 
atoms with to KaTa/xcVpry/jia, placing the comma after voiJ.££etv. 

6. dfjLiyrj . i.e. themselves perfectly single and 'unmixed', sc. not 
consisting of parts • this idea Lucretius expresses by sohda simphcitate, 
1. 609 Von Arnim's correction ifj^prj is unnecessary 

o 2 



nipara ■ a new word specially introduced by Epicurus to denote the 
least parts of the atom, as axpa. above denotes the least perceptible 
parts of the sensible body. The ' least part ' is at once the 1 boundary ' 
in that there can be nothing smaller, and the ' unit of measurement ' 
an idea also contained in irt'pay. 

it oAr&v irpiuTUF, ' starting from themselves as units ' : sc. the size of 
the atom depends on the number of iripara which it contains, avrwi' 
is again a necessary emendation of Usener's for avrSv The MSS. are 
divided between Trpwrwv and Trp&rov Bignone prefers the latter, con- 
structing it with to KarajucT/nj/Aa, but irpuyrtav seems more in accordance 
with the general idea of the passage. 

7. rolf fieliotrt Ko.1 1\Attoo-i, ' to larger and smaller things ', that is, 
in the first instance to the atoms and through them to the compound 
bodies which they form 

8. -rp 8tA K<5you 8«u>pCa iirl tuk AopdtTwy, ' in our contemplation by- 
thought of invisible things '. We have no direct perception of the 
atom, still less of its parts, but according to the Epicurean canons we 
must consider it in thought on the analogy of perceptible things. We 
may remember that to Epicurus thought itself was always a process of 
mental visualization, and in this we can, as it were, contemplate the 
atom and count its iripcura. 

if yAp Kotr<lTT]s f\ 6ir«ipxoucra . . . aurreX^crai. There is again diffi- 
culty as to the consti uction and meaning of the sentence. 

(1) I agree with Bignone in taking aui-019 to be the irtpara of the 
atom, 7rpos to be constructed after koivott;s, to. dju,rra/3o\a (leaving for 
the moment the question of the reading) to be the a*pa of the sensible 
body, and o-uvrtAcVcu to mean ' to form a conclusion ' . ' for the affinity 
which the least parts of the atom have to the least perceptible parts ol 
the sensible body is sufficient to justify this conclusion', i.e though 
the mpara. in fact differ from the cucpa in that they are physically 
indivisible, whereas the aicpa are capable of further physical subdivision, 
yet the analogy between them as the minimum in their respective 
spheres is enough to justify the conclusion we have formed. 

(2) I was formerly inclined, keeping the same idea of the con- 
struction, to take 0-vvTeA.e'o-ai to refer to the arrangement of the 
Trtpara in succession to one another m the atom, as opposed to o-vp- 
<p6pt]o-iv which follows ' the affinity ... is sufficient for them to be 
ranged alongside each other (just like the aicpa) to the extent we have 
described (i.e. in succession without contact of parts)'. o-wreA.«o-ai 
would then be a metaphorical extension of its usual constitutional 
sense, ' to belong to a class' (e.g. o-wreAelv eis avSpas, Isocr. 277 b), 
and the whole would form a close parallel to Lucretius' description of 
the atom in the passage corresponding to this section (i. 609—612) : 

sunt lgitur solida primordia simphcitate 
quae minimis stipata cohaerent parubus arte, 
non ex illarura conventu concihata, 
sed magis aeterna pollentia simphcitate. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 59-60 


But one can go too far in attempting to get an exact parallel with 
Lucretius, and I doubt this meaning for erwrcXeVai. 

(3) Giussani takes the clause in an entirely different way. avroli is 
the atoms (he suggests that it might be better to read aureus), Kotvorqs 
is their affinity with perceptible bodies, -n-pds means 'in respect of, and 
trwrc\ta-ai is ' the coming together of the atoms for creation ' : ' the 
common characteristics, which the atoms have with sensible things in 
respect to their smallest parts is what makes them fit for the composi- 
tion, that is the creation, of things up to the point which we see ' 
This is surely a very unnatural sense to give both to aureus (the 
Tripara being the subject of the previous sentence), to n-pos, and above 
all to crvvTtXio-at Giussani is, I think, carried away by a desire to find 
in Epicurus a conclusion like that of Lucr. 1. 628-634. 

9. du.tTd/3o\a All modern scholars before Bignone adopted 
Usener's obvious emendation aperd/Sara cf. § 58 riuv [JLtTajSarSiv. 
Bignone, however, quotes from Sex. Empir. adv. Alaih i 118 povoei- 
Srjs Kal ao-vv6cTos Kal ajxerdfioXos, where it appears to have the sense 
' unchanging ', ' homogeneous '. This is an admirable description of 
the a.Kpa, and would correspond exactly to ip-iyy} in 1 6 There seems 
therefore no reason for departing from it. 

ro. o-ufiL$6pr]ariv, 'a bringing together' (conven/us, Lucr., loc. ci/.) 
The atoms are ' brought together ' to form things, but their least parts 
can never have been brought together to form the atoms for the atom 
is ex hypothesi indivisible. 

in toutcuk KtrrjcriK iy6vruiv, ' out of the store of first parts as bodies 
capable of movement '. If the could have a separate existence, 
they could have movement • and if movement they might have been 
brought together, but all this is impossible The expression is loose 
but not, I think, impossible for Epicurus. Bneger's insertion of (ovk) 
before i^ovrw is not only unnecessary, but mistaken, as it then makes 
Kivrjo-iv ovk ixovTtov the main reason why there is not a o-vptpoprqa-is, 
whereas it is only a secondary cause, derived from the primary cause, 
that the Wpara have no independent existence. More probable is 
Bignone 's emendation tov(twv is) t&v, and indeed d>s is rather badly 
needed, but I think the passage can stand as it is. 

§ 60. A detailed paragraph follows dealing with an important point : 
Can there be motion upwards and downwards in infinite space? The 
paragraph fits in badly where it stands, and Giussani would attach it to 
other sections concerning the universe (§42 and § 47) But it is almost 
more closely connected with the motion of the atoms, which Epicurus 
is about to consider. It seems best on the whole to leave it here in 
parenthesis, unless one is attempting to reconstruct the whole letter. 

The argument is characteristically Epicurean We cannot, says 
Epicurus, predicate upward and downward motion m infinite space 
with reference to a highest and lowest point, an absolute top and 
bottom, for such do not of course exist, but we can with reference to 
ourselves or to any point in space of which we choose to think The 



motion from our feet to our head, however prolonged, is to us 
motion upwards and the opposite motion downwards. From a 
mathematical point of view of infinity this is, of course, as Brieger 
says, inepit excogi latum, but, as Giussani points out (1, p. 169), the 
contradiction is inherent in the conception of space itself, at once 
infinite and relative. Moreover, the conclusion is reached m strict 
accordance with the Epicurean canons. We are bound to ask our- 
selves if a'a-drfa-K provides any evidence on the point, and the answer 
is that it does we know what we mean by motion upward and 
downward in reference to ourselves, and we have only to prolong 
such mouon to infinity, and we then have the conception we need. 

1. Kol pi)v . . . Tj icd-ru. A sentence of some difficulty. I take 
it to mean literally, ' moreover in the infinite we must not speak of 
the " up" and the " down " as though (measured by) the highest or a 
lowest', to avo> ft rarw is, I think, 'up or down' in anticipation of 
the idea of the motion of the atoms, which is to follow in the new 
section : if so, we must read awTon? . . .> with Usener 
Giussani and Bignone who take to avto . . . kotw as ' the high ' and 
'the low', making it a merely special reference without consideration of 
motion, keep the MS. dvuiraTio . . . Kariorarw, ' we must not speak 
of high or low as of a highest or lowest '. Neither the sense nor the 
reference seem to me so probable. 

The MSS. are divided between avairdTu) ko.1 KaTarrdrai and dparrdTcu 
*l KaroiTOTw : the parallel of opw rj> below seems to decide for rj 
After Koi-jj-yopeiv Usener marks, a lacuna, which presumably would 
contain something like -rrjv <f>opav eis. But it is unnecessary he is 
here thinking simply of the directions ' up ' and ' down ', and the ques- 
tion of motion arises later. 

2. els \l£vtoi . . . With Bignone I regard this clause as a 
parenthesis strengthening the previous sentence The general sense 
is, ' indeed, even if we were to prolong to infinity the line passing above 
our heads, we shall never reach the top (noi the bottom, if we prolong 
the line passing below our feet) '. tovto is then t6 ivioraro). 

There is, however, difficulty in the text after ets &n-€ipov The MSS 
read aytiv ov (or ov). Palaeographically one would suppose this stood 
for S.yw (ov sscr,), 1 e. the correction of the infinitive into the neuter 
participle : but I cannot see any sense to be derived fiom this . Usener 
would read rclvov for uyetv ov, which I cannot construe. Hicks (in 
Stoics and Epicureans, presumably translating Usener's text) says, 
' Still a line may be drawn vertically upward and stretch to infinity 
from the point, wherever it is, where we stand, and we must not say 
that this distinction of up and down will never be found m it'. This 
is good sense, but can hardly be extracted from the text Bignone 
would read aytiv {yoovcri, &rf\)ov, ' even if we imagine ourselves proceed- 
ing to infinity above our head ... it is manifest that we shall never 
find this extreme limit ', but the insertion is too large. Giussani 
suggests aytw (c£)oi , 'if it were possible to go on ' ; this seems to me 


far more probable, but I suggest {iv)6v as more likely to have produced 
the MS. text. 

4. fj t£ uitoic<£tw . . . -irpds t6 air6. The construction runs on 
grammatically from ov 8«t Karriyopciv after the parenthesis, and rf takes 
the place of the expected Se corresponding to w<s fiev dvuirdr^. ' While 
we cannot postulate a top and bottom in infinite space, we must not 
either say that that which stretches downwards to infinity below the 
point thought of can be at once up and down in reference to the same 
thing ', 1 e. though ' up ' and ' down ' cannot be used in reference to 
a top or bottom, they can with reference to a point selected in space . 
in other words, the terms are not absolutely true, but they have a rela- 
tive truth As in the parenthesis, there is an implication, and the same 
is assumed with regard to the line upwards 

R. D Hicks (C/arj. licv xxxvn, p 108) has a different view of the 
whole sentence. He retains "o>i.ev and dytiv ov, takes tovto, ' this point or 

region ', as the subject of <f>ave tcr0rxi,and places rj to iiroKtxTut rov vorjOcvro'; 

cts a-n-eipov in a parenthesis ' As to the space overhead, however, if it 
be possible to draw a line to infinity from the point where we stand, we 
know that never will this space — or, for that matter, the space beiow 
the supposed standpoint if produced to infinity— appear to us to be at 
the same time " up " and " down " with reference to the same point , for 
this is inconceivable '. This is an ingenious interpretation and requires 
careful consideration it certainly gets over the somewhat awkward 
want of parallelism between the two clauses 

6. Start eari fiiav Xaptir ^opai* ... So far he has spoken of direc- 
tion he now pioceeds to what, in its effects on the general theory, is 
the more important question of motion. We may then in this con- 
ventional sense say that there is a motion upwards and a motion 
downwards in respect to us 

7. &c kcu jiupiaKis . . . even though there are thousands of worlds 
above and below us to whom this same motion passes from us. But 
the clause is not very satisfactory, because if motion upwards from us 
went on arriving at the feet of persons in worlds above us it would 
still be motion upwards to them too, and similarly with motion down- 
wards our ideas would be confirmed. I strongly suspect that -n-pot 
Tot>s TroSas and lirl tt)v Kc^aAiyv ought to be interchanged We then 
get very good sense : it is still motion upwards to us, even though 
persons in many other worlds are, in our view, upside down, so that 
to them it appears to be motion downwards. The two expression 
might easily have been reversed by a scribe who did not properly 
understand the argument 

9 (is) again seems a necessary addition 

10. ^ -ycip o\t) 4>opa . . . ■ a summing up - for m any case, whether 
you call them up and down or not, the two motions are diametrically 
opposed to one another. Of course once more, not a mathematical 
statement but a conclusion based on experience. 



C. Motions of the atoms. 

The two following sections together with portions of §§ 46, 47, 
which should be placed here, constitute an account of the motions of 
the atoms and their relation to the motion of compound bodies. The 
subject is very difficult, but both the general ideas and the phraseology 
have been very brilliantly elucidated by Giussani in his essay Cinettca 
Epicurea (Lucr , vol. i, pp. 97-124). 

It will perhaps be well to begin by an attempt to state the main 
ideas The free atoms in the void are borne downwards by their own 
weight at an incredible speed (5ju.a vorjfiaTi) All move at an equal 
rate, differences of weight making no difference of speed in a vacuum 
for rcLardation is only due to the opposition of external bodies or, as 
we shall see, to internal \ibr<Uion (ivriKoirrj), which cannot occur in 
the individual atoms But owing in origin to the TrapeyxXicris or spon- 
taneous swerve of the atoms (which strangely enough is omitted in 
the letter, though it was an all-important point in the system and is 
treated at length by Lucretius 11 216-293), lne atoms collide. Then 
either they rebound in any direction, even upwaids, and continue their 
movement at precisely the same speed but in a new direction, or they 
unite to foim a compound body But even in the compound their 
motion does not cea<-e or slacken continuallj moving, meeting, and 
clashing, and starling off again at the same atomic speed, they keep 
the bod}' in a constant state of internal vibration. When the body is 
at rest, this means that the sum total of internal movements balances 
and produces an equilibrium when the body moves, for instance, as 
the result of an external blow, this means that to all the atoms is com- 
municated over and above their natural motions a tendency towards 
movement in a certain dnection Yet even so their tiny trajects in all 
directions continue and act now as a letardation (dirLKoirr/) of the 
compound body These main notions are refined by certain subtleties 
of thought, as Epicurus proceeds, but with them in mind, we can con- 
sider the passage 

§ 01. 2. ci<r<j>^pbi>Tai. The compound verb is undoubtedly difficult, 
and both Brieger and Giussani have noticed that one would expect 
the simple (piptovrai. The MSS however, in spite of variations, all 
point to the compound, and it should probably be regarded, with 
Giussani, as picturesque. Epicurus is thinking of the atoms plunging 
on into the void before the eyes of an imaginary spectator. It is 
consistent with his invariable conception of thought as visualization 
It is unnecessary to follow Bneger in reading eis (Iva tottov) <pcpwvrai. 

jit)6ev6s An-tK<5nToi'Tos the Epicurean idea of AvriKoiri) must be 
carefully thought out and applied in each case, where it occurs. Its 
primary notion is of course the clash of atom with atom In the case 
of the individual atom the sole cause of retardation is the collision with 
other atoms, nor indeed can any one collision do more than momen- 
tarily check its course before it starts off in a new direction. But 



a series of such collisions may by constantly diverting its course m 
different directions, delay its advance m the original direction- such, 
for instance, would be the case, if the atom was moving not through 
the void, but through air In the case of the compound body, how- 
ever, the collision of the atoms which compose it translates itself into 
an internal vibration, which is a cause of delay and the slackening of 
speed. It is in this lattei sense that Avtikott^ becomes a technical 
term of Epicurean phraseology. Giussani wishes to interpret it m 
this technical sense all through, and even to take d-n-avra below m the 
same sense so here, ' when the atoms are moving through the void, 
without internal vibration ' (which the atom cannot have, because it 
has not separable parts, §§ 58, 59). But this is suiely mistaken here 
and leads to great difficulties in the next sentence . we must interpret 
the idea of avTiKonrTtiv according to its context as (i)external collision, 
(2) internal vibration, remembering of course that the latter is only the 
former looked at from the point of view of the compound body 
(Giussani is too apt to think of them as distinct things). Here, as 
Epicurus is speaking of the individual atoms, it is external collision 
alone. Bignone (Appendix, p 226) strongly supports this view. 

o5t« -yip t4 0apla . . Epicurus now supports his previous state- 
ment about the atoms with a wider statement about bodies in general 
(to. /Japc'a neut.), but he is still thinking of external collision . the 
technical notion of uvtikotty) does not appear till later The idea here 
then is quite simple . ' you might think that owing to their weight 
heavier bodies move faster than light . but provided the latter 
meet with no external collisions to deflect and delay them, this is not 
the case- the reason why, e.g. we see light bodies falling more 
slowly, is because the air offers to them a more successful resistance ' 
The idea is exactly parallel to Lucr 11. 230-242. Giussani wishes to 
take even djravra here of internal vibration — a manifest impossibility 
The interpretation would be greatly simplified all through if we could 
take ra /3apta, &c, merely of the atoms, but coming immediately aftei 
Tas arofiov? the neuter must be intended to have a wider application. 

3. tA fiapia . . . tw p.iKpuc it£u Kou<f>cdf. The antithesis is incom- 
plete. Usener may well be right in suggesting ra {p-tyuXa. mm) j3apta 
this is better than Gassendi's excision of p.ixpu>v kcu 

4. Sto*' ye .... an emphatic limitation, 'provided, that is, that . . .' 
outois . sc TOIS /xtKpois 

out£ t& p.iicpcL . . . d*riic<5nTj|. It might be held by others that small 
bodies would naturally move faster than large bodies, because they 
meet with less opposition. Bignone points out that Epicurus is 
thinking not merely of the natural downward motion of the atoms, 
but also of the motion sideways and even upwards owing to blows, and 
as regards upward motion it might well be supposed that the small 
would move faster than the great. But this too, says Epicurus, is a 
mistake, provided always there is no collision of acorn with atom : 
motion m all directions is at the uniform maximum speed. Usene^s 



insertion of fipa&vrtpov after to. fUKpd is due to misunderstanding 
and produces a mere tautology : both Giussani and Bignone con- 
demn it. 

5. wdtTa -ti6pav <ruji(i€Tpo»' Zxovra • the expression has already 
occurred in § 47 a with reference to the motion of the ciSoAa. I take 
it to mean here as there ' having their whole course uniform ', i.e. they 
are always moving at the same rate and in the same direction, pro- 
vided that there is no collision. Bignone takes it to mean only 
1 having their whole course in the same direction but I think that 
the idea of uniform speed is also implied. Giussani here, as in § 47 a , 
with the idea of the internal dn-cKOTr^ in his mind, translates ' having a 
symmetrical course of all their parts', i.e. having all their component 
parts moving in the same direction so that there is no internal avrLKOTrrj. 
Apart from the strain thus put upon iravra, such a conception is only 
applicable to the atom, which has no separable parts, whereas here 
Epicurus' idea is intended to have a wider application. 

Giussani's emendaLion e'^ovw for i^ovra is tempting, as it would 
be more naVura\ that Epicurus should apply this notion to the heavy 
bodies, as a reason why they should not be slower than the lighter 
bodies, but the notion is true of either, and it is best not to disturb 
the reading of all the MSS. 

JJU]8e tuclvois sc rots /xeyaAots as opposed to ctvrots above. 

6. ou0' t) aeco . . . Though the expression is still general in form 
Epicurus is thinking mainly now of the motion of the atoms in the 
void. They can move eithei sideways or even upwards owing to the 
blows received in collision with other atoms, but motion in these 
directions is still exactly equal in speed to that of their original motion 
downwards owing to their own weight the blow deflects but does not 
dimmish the pace — a very important point in the Epicurean emetic*. 

The clause is loosely appended and we must carry on the general 
notion, ' quicker '. Usener would supply Oolttuv t) fipaSvrepa, but this 
is not necessary either notion is sufficient for the general idea. 

7. <+' 6n6<rov ydp . . The summary of the preceding propositions 
Once started m any given direction the atom will continue to move 
in that direction at absolute speed untd it is again deflected either by 
a new blow or by its own natural tendency to move downwards, which 
now counteracts the effect of the blow. In effect these two counter- 
actions would work differently ■ a new collision will stait an immediate 
change of direction, whereas the tendency to move downwards would 
assert itself gradually and cause a gradual deflexion. 

8. KdTitrxT], 'holds out', 'prevails' 

Uaripa oOtuk. The MSS. have eKariptDv, for which Usener proposed 
ixarepov in the sense ' either of the two kinds of motion and modern 
editors have followed him. But can iKanpov have this sense ? If it 
is retained, it must surely mean ' either the heavy or the light body ', 
referring back to the opening clauses. I suggest tKartpa. avrtoy in the 
sense which Usener postulates. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 61-46 t> 


Spa KorjfiaTt, ' quick as thought Epicurus' regular expression for 
the immeasurably swift motion of the unimpeded atom. Remember 
that thought was to him an atomic motion and the swiftest of all 

9. 2«s (jtv ri) dnrtKiS4^| a necessary insertion of Usener's : av n 
would naturally fall out by ' haplography ' before ivriKo^. 

SjoiOcK f| Ik tou l8£ou $cipous. A new point : the atom moving along 
at absolute speed in any direction may be checked or deflected 
suddenly by a collision or gradually tend to its natural downward 
motion as the force of the blow is exhausted ?j « tov iSiov /Japous is 
used rather loosely with avriKofj], for it is not of course strictly a case 
of avTiKorn/j, but fj ifadtv leads up to it. 

10. irpos t^tou irX^£<nros Suvajuf, which Usener excludes as a gloss, 
is essential to the sense • the original downward motion asserts itself 
'against the force of the blow '. Bignone (Appendix, p 228) would 
read rr/v {Ik) tov TrA^avros, pointing out that it is not strictly the force 
of the atom which delivered the blow that is in question, but the 
force of the blow received from it. He may be right, but the com- 
paratively loose expression of the text is intelligible 

§ 46 b . I. k«u fxi]v Kai . . . Ofioltofna \anfSdvei. With some hesitation 
I follow Gmssam in inserting here the last two sentences of § 46 
(see notes on § 46 a ) They cannot be in place there for (a) together 
with the opening section of § 47 they interrupt a close consecutive 
argument, (5) the question of the rate of movement of the t'SwXa is not 
raised till later § 47 oOev Kai rdx 7 ! awiripp\rjTa ?x et • • ■ On the other 
hand, they refer more naturally to the pace of the atoms and, like the 
beginning of § 47, may have been inserted there to explain the general 
notion of atomic movement as a preliminary to the description of the 
movement of the t'StoXa. Here they are very much m point 

Epicurus proceeds then to a new point ; the atoms, he has said, all 
move at an equal pace : he now passes to the question, What is that 
pace? It is true that he has to some extent anticipated the answer in 
the words-a/aa votifiaTi rrjv <j>opa.v o~xyra- above, but that is vague and 
general, and this is a careful and reasoned statement. The atoms 
moving uninterruptedly lhrough the void can cover any comprehen- 
sible distance in an inconceivably short time : in fact, the speed of the 
atoms may be described with Giussam as 'absolute speed'. 

k«it& nm8e(j.iai' . .y\.voplvt\, 'if it takes place without a meeting of 
things which might collide'. As we have seen, such collision cannot 
diminish the speed of atomic motion, but only momentarily check it 
and deflect its direction. But it can therefore prevent its covering 
a certain /at)kos, i.e. the distance between two points in a certain time . 
if starting from a it only ultimately reaches I after a series of 
deflexions, it takes a longer time for the whole transit than if it passes 
uninterruptedly through the void. 

2. &vriKoty6vruv. The MSS. have avriKoij/dvruv, which seems impos- 
sible. Usener emends to the future, Giussani more violently proposes 

3 20 


AvTucairrovTw : the future will surely stand as atravrr/a-iv does not 
strictly mean the clash but a ' coming to meet '. 

•wepiXijTrTde, ' comprehensible as a unit marked off from other periods 
of time'. Cf. §§ 40, 42, 56 for use of this and kindred forms. 

3. ^p<i&ou$ y&p Kal t<(x ou * • • • 1 e - tne deflexion of the atom from 
one direction to another has the appearance of greater slowness of 
movement in its transit from one point to another . we think it has 
taken longer to pass from a to b (see note on 1. 1). But of course 
Epicurus has also in his mind here the compound body, to which he 
is leading up there the internal collisions of the component atoms 
produce the appearance of greater slowness of movement of the whole 
compound body Some MSS. have fipaSvTrp-oi, but /SpaSovs goes 
more naturally with to^ous 

§ 62. Another very difficult paragraph, in which most editors seem 
to me to have gone strangely wrong . with three small alterations 

(0ai-r<i>v for 63.TTOV (2), tov iXd^urrov for tu>v cXa^ioToji' (4), and ivri- 
Koirrowiv for avTiKo-jn-cooTv (6)) the MS. reading seems to me to make 
perfect sense, which the editors, mainly owing to preconceived notions, 
have missed 

Epicurus passes now from the motion of the free atoms in the void, 
to the motion of atoms in compounds, where the individual atoms are 
of course still moving in void, for even in the most compact bodies 
there is a bidtmjfia of void between atom and atom. Now here, just 
as in the case ot the free atoms, hasty considerations might lead to the 
conclusion that some atoms move faster than others Take the case 
of two compound bodies A and B moving m the same direction, of 
which A is moving at twice the pace of B . even if we narrow our 
observation to the least period of time which is continuous KaTaTw 
iXdxurrov crvvexv X/x>Voj>), A stl " covers twice the distance that B covers 
We are inclined then to infer (jrpoa-&>£afeo-#a(.) that the atoms which 
compose A are moving twice as fast as those which compose B. But 
now let us try to pass beyond the region of sense-perception to what 
we might call ' atomic ' time (note that the whole idea is exactly 
parallel to the nouon of the irepara in the question of size, §§ 57, 58)- 
take an instant of time, such as we can only conceive in thought 
(Xdyo) dtwprjrbv xpoeov), a division of time so small that it cannot be 
called continuous at all Our inference from observation might again 
lead us to think that the atoms of A were moving at twice the speed 
of those of B, But let us now try the test of the mental vision 
(iirif3o\ri tt}s Siavotas) which we have obtained from our conception of 
the movements of the free atoms in the void. We see now at once 
that our inference was wrong. For we must think of the construction 
of the body, of atoms still, as we have seen, moving in void, but 
restricted by their collisions with one another. In this instant of time 
then, the individual atoms of both bodies are all moving at an equal 
rate, colliding and clashing momentarily, and striking off on their new 
little trajects in all directions. What then is the atomic difference 

COMMENTARY. §§46-62 


between the bodies A and B which causes the difference in the speed 
of motion of the aggregate body ? It is simply that in A more atoms 
are moving in the direction of the whole body than in B : in B there is 
more Avtikottij, it is more retarded by adverse atomic motion and 
therefore as a whole body moves slower. Indeed it is this ayriKainj 
alone which renders the motion of bodies perceptible to us (lira ttjv 
alard^criv to crwex« tijs «^>opas yCyvtrai) the atomic motion is far too 
fast for us to perceive : the union of atoms in compounds retards the 
motion by <jUriK07rrj till at last, when the compounds are large enough, 
the motion is slow enough for us to perceive it. Once again tlie idea 
is exacdy parallel to the notion of size, and the whole is wonderfully 
clearly brought out by Lucretius in his illustration from the motes in 
the sunbeam (11. 114—141, but especially 132-141) 

[The editors and commentators have curiously misunderstood the 

(1) Usener, not seeing the force of faOrjo-tTai, inserts (ov) before 

Oa.TTUiv y reads tj yxrj (<(>' iva, and excises Kara Tois \oyio #ea)p->]Tovs xpdvous 
as a gloss. How he understands the clause from ™ i<j> tva . . . r) fir/ 
i(f>' eva I, like Giussani, fail to perceive. Hicks, who apparently 
follows Usener, except that he keeps Kara, tovs \6yu> GttaprjTovs xpovovs 
(and ? reads ov OZLttov <£op7j#7jo-tTai), translates ' Moreover, of the 
atoms in composite bodies, one will not travel faster than another, 
since all have equal velocity, and this whether we consider (t<3 I) the 
motion of the atoms in an aggregate in one direction during sensible 
and continuous time or their motions in diffeient duections in times so 
short as to be appiehended only by the reason'. Apart from giam- 
matical difficulties, I take this statement to be quite untrue : the 
' motion of atoms in an aggregate 111 one duection during sensible and 
continuous time ' ts faster in some cases than others . see above. 

(2) Brieger rightly keeps OZttov without oi, reads <f>op7]0rj<reTai, and 
then proceeds to insert and suppose lacunae in his usual wild manner, 
with the general idea that the atom which makes a number of tiajects 
in all directions moves slower than the atom which goes straight in 
one direction (cf. § 47). This idea seems to me quite inapplicable 
and inappropriate here. 

(3) Giussani, to whom I owe a gieat deal for the explanation of the 
general meaning of the passage, has been misled by not observing the 
force of jj-rjOijo-eTaL. He therefore accepts Usener's ov, understands ' you 
cannot say even in compounds that one atom is faster than another', 
and then, being driven to take the tu> i<f>' Zva clause as giving a reason, 
not for the apparent difference of pace, but for its real equality, emends 
ft ixr] to ttra. fir) and invents a quite gratuitous idea that at the first 
moment of the starting of a compound body after a blow for a very 
brief continuous period the atoms do all move in one direction, and 
then AvriKomj sets in — an idea surely quite foreign, as Giussani himself 
seems to feel, to the whole Epicurean emetics. 

(4) Bignone, who agrees very closely with me in the general sense 



of the passage and has in his Appendix ably expounded the Epicurean 
conceptions of the minimum of time and the minimum of space, -which 
correspond with the notion of the minima* paries, like Giussani, takes 
the clause tu> i<f>' Iva . . . <rw«x^ XP° voy ^ an explanation of J<roTaxu>v : 
' they are equal in speed because they move in only one direction and 
m the least continuous time of their motion '. But this implies ' each ' 
as the subject, takes na.1 rbv iXd^urrov crvve^j ~xp6vov in an unnatural 
sense, and destroys the parallelism of r£> ij>' b>a tottov . . . ci 

a. $&rruv, the reading of f, must, I think, be accepted for darrov of 
the MSS. The latter could only be kept if we supposed that <f>£pe(r6a.L 
had dropped out (or must be ' understood ') after prjOrjc-erai. I have 
shown above that there is no need to insert ov before it. 

0rj<H)<x€Tai, ' it will be said to be ', though as a matter of fact it is not. 
The inference from our experience of compound bodies would be 
exactly on a par with the supposition dealt with above that heavier 
atoms will move faster downwards than lighter ones. 

3. iaoraxu^ ofouv by itself, ' though in fact they are all equal in 
speed '. 

t$ . . . xp& yov t nen g'ves the reason of this false assumption. The 
atoms in compound bodies are perceived in any continuous period of 
time, even the shortest (retain Kaf), to move as an aggregate in one 
direction. But it is wrong to infer from this that each individual atom 
is during that time moving only in this direction at the speed of the 
aggregate body. 

5. el fii) . . . y'^™* is really Epicurus' reply to the false objection, 
though in form he appends it rather oddly as an exception to the 
theory he is contradicting. 

dXXct n-uicK&y diTucinTouo-if . . . : again the statement of the fact : ' but 
in truth they are constantly jostling and by their collisions gradually 
retard the motion of the whole until it becomes perceptible to us . 
See above. 

6. 2ws &v . . . Y" n T T<u ' cf- Lucr. 11. 138-139 : 

sic a principus ascendit motus et exit 
paulatim nostros ad sensus. 

7. rb yip irpoCT&o£ai(5ji.«>'o>' . . . We see compound bodies moving at 
different rates in continuous perceptible periods, and we infer that the 
atoms which compose them are doing the same even in the ideal 
minima of time. But this is not the case. In matters of perception 
we must trust aio-^o-is, but in matters beyond its ken we must not 
make hasty inferences by analogy, but think out by an act of appre- 
hension what the truth is. For the general idea of the jrpo<TSofa£o- 
^evoir see §§ 50, 51. 

9. ivX twp ToiouTuf, ' in the matters under discussion ', 1. e. matters 
concerning the character and behaviour of imperceptible atoms. 

xo. ivti t6 yt (Wpoufiefov . ... a return on the first principles of 

COMMENTARY. §§ 6z- 4 7 b 


inquiry. In dealing with phenomena «uo-&to-« will give us the truth, 
but with regard to $.Sr)ka it cannot. 

iirel . . . dXrjO^s i<mv. See Appendix on «riy3o\-Jj T»js Siavoi'as, 
pp. 259 ff It is this passage which primarily demands the extension of 
the meaning of this difficult phrase beyond the immediate apprehension 
by the mind of images too subtle to be perceived by the senses : for that 
clearly cannot be his meaning here. I have argued in the Appendix 
that the meaning here is to be found in the parallelism of the sentence • 
to 6ca>povfiL€vov is what Epicurus elsewhere (§ 56) calls to iirifiXrjriKWi 
\afij3av6ficvov rots al<r(hrrr}piois — the result of observation on the part of 
the senses as opposed to passive sensation : so to ™t' i-n-iftoXljv Aaju.- 
H(w6/j.evov is the image apprehended as arising from a scientific deduc- 
tion, each step of which has been referred to the test of the alo-O-qo-tis 
to make sure that lhere is no avn/iapTvprjo-is. We have a passive 
sensation of a moving body by observation we see that each of its 
perceptible parts is moving in the same direction as the whole . So£a 
by combining images applies this idea at random to the atomic parts 
but the mind apprehends true images of atoms in motion, which is 
derived from a chain of concepts — the atoms, their collisions, their 
resultant vibratory motion in all directions — each of which has been 
scientifically tested the conclusion of cVi/JoA.^ rf}s Siavoiat is there- 
fore true. 

§ 47 b . 1 ou \il)v oiii' ajjia . 1 have herewith more confidence followed 
Giussani in inserting this section from § 47. It could only with the 
greatest difficulty be forced into significance, where it stands, in con- 
nexion with the theory of ' idols ', whereas here it follows on quite 
naturally with the preceding account of the movement of atoms. It is 
in fact a precaution against a misunderstanding of the theory just 
stated, and has been brilliantly expounded in most of its details by 
Giussani (pp. 14-118). The motion of the whole body is, it has been 
said, the sum of the motions of Us component atoms • but these 
motions are an infinite senes of tiny trajects in all directions ; it might 
then be supposed that the whole body pei forms this entire series of 
motions, and arrives at the end of its journey after having followed 
a devious course in all directions, Such an idea is really incon- 
ceivable, and would moreover be a direct contradiction of aZo-0rycris 
for in that case the whole body will have come from any possible spot 
m any direction from which one of its atoms started and not from the 
place from which we saw it start The objection is put in a very exag- 
gerated form, but it is not difficult to see the thought underlying it : if 
the motion of the compound body is only the sum of the motions of its 
component atoms, are not those imperceptible motions alone real and 
is not the motion of the compound a delusion ? Epicurus replies with 
an emphatic negative. The motion of the compound is a reality, 
determined by the avriKOTn} of the component atoms • or, if we may 
translate it more literally, the motion of the compound is the sensible 
likeness (Sfwiov) of the sum of the component motions. As separate 



identities the atoms perform their tiny trajects at infinite speed, but as 
parts of the new unity (aVpour/ua, or concilium, as Lucretius calls it) 
they combine to perform a new motion. The compound is more 
than an aggregate, it is an entity : its motion is more than the sum of 
mouons : it is a new reality. 

Thus both the motions of the compound, sensible, continuous, 
taking place in perceptible time, and the motions of the atoms, 
imperceptible, constantly broken, occurring in time perceptible only 
in thought, are alike realities . iir*\ to yt Otfopov/Atvov rrav r) <ar 
briftoXrjv Xa/xfiavofievov ijj Siavo/a dXijtfes eo-riv (§62 fin ). The idea 
is the very foundation of the Epicurean physics ■ both the sensible 
world and the imperceptible world comprehended by thought are real 
and true. Again, we have exact parallels in the theory of the secon- 
dary qualities the atoms, for instance, are colourless, but by their 
different shapes and collocations they produce colour in the compound 
body : and that colour is no delusion but a reality. This is the 
natural conclusion of the section on atomic motion, and I have little 
doubt that Giussani's transposition and general explanation of this 
passage are right, though I differ from him at one point 

ouS' (ovSe) is the leading of the MSS. and may be kept: this idea 
or criticism is no more to be accepted than the fallacy with which he 
has dealt in § 62. Both Usener and Giussani alter it to ovff to cor- 
respond to the ovTt which they insert after ko.1 tovto below. Bignone, 
who keeps this passage in Us original place, can find 110 reference 
for ovS' and reads oiSafirj for oiSc ap-a. The MS. ovM is indeed 
a small but strong argument for the transposition. 

2. Koi t6 4>cp<S|xcKo>> aufia. It is impossible to make sense of the 
MS. xara. to <j>cpop.tvov, and /cat and Kara are frequently confused in 
these MSS.(e g. § 38). Bignone, supposing the passage to have special 
reference to the motion of the e"Su>Aa, reads koX Ta.rro^>ep6p.€vov. 

im -rods irXetous tattoos • sc the several places which each of the 
component atoms Reaches in Us trajecls. 

3. Usener, followed by Giussani, confines the parenthesis to the 
words aSiavorfTov yap kuI tovto . in that case it is necessary to insert 
a negative in the following clause, which must be ovre to correspond 
with the ovrt which they read in 1. 1. Usener reads our' a<f>LKvovp,evov 
(supposing crvv a corruption, which is improbable), Giussani ovrt 
<rvva.<piJ<vovixevov, keeping the significant compound to express the 
motion of the whole body together with its component atoms 
Giussani then explains the sentence by a very subtle and improbable 
idea : he points out that all the atoms composing a compound must, 
before they entered the compound, have travelled in their course to fai 
distant parts of space : the theory then which would identify the 
motion of the whole body with those of its atoms must suppose that 
with them it has arrived from all these distant parts of space and not 
from the spot from which we have watched Us motion. He compares 
especially Lucretius' description of the formation of lightning, 

COMMENTARY. §§ 47 b -«3 


vi. 340-345. But such an idea is very far-fetched and, as Bignone 
points out, there could be no reason to identify the motion of the 
body with those of its atoms be/ore they entered the compound. 

Bignone's own solution is far more satisfactory, and I have followed 
it without hesitation : he continues the parenthesis to ftrrai d<£«rr<£- 
ficvov, and keeps the MS. text without the insertion of a negative. The 
clause then is an additional reason for rejecting the theory just 
enunciated : it is unthinkable, and moreover it involves the supposition 
that the compound might arrive not from v. here we saw it start, but 
from any spot in any direction, as it would if in devious course it 
followed the various trajects of its component atoms. 

4. S8ee SVjirodef tou dtreipou goes then with o-vva.<£ucvov/xcvov. 

6. dKTHcoTrj] yip Sjioiof jarai the motion of the whole body is the 
outward appearance (6/Wu>ju,a § 46 b 4) of the various internal motions 
of its component atoms. 

plxpi To<rouTou. Giussani, with his thoughts very much on the 
Lucretian account of the formation of the fulmen, takes this to mean 
' up to the moment of departure ', i.e. of the formation of the com- 
pound and the start of the compound motion up till that moment 
the motion of the free atoms was ovk avriKOjnov. But it is very hard 
to extract this meaning from the context (tovtov, the reading of BG, 
would make it easier), and it is surely inconsistent, for Epicurus is 
apparently thinking just as much of compound bodies formed long 
ago and at rest before the moment of departure, when it could not be 
said that 'the speed of the motion was ovk 6.vtikottt6v' . The natural 
meaning to be extracted from the context is " /xt'xpi tou ala-Orp-ov 
Xpovov", and that I believe to be what Epicurus intends. In the 
Xpovoi X6ym OcotprjroC the motion is the independent motion of the 
individual atoms at atomic speed, ovk Avtikotttov, but the moment we 
arrive at a xpdvos al<T&rfr6<; we have the motion of the compound, the 
outward expression of the cIvtikot-j}. 

7. drriKoirrdf : Usener corrected the MS. reading to avriKoirrov, but 
the active participle will not make sense, and I prefer to read aa/TiKoirrbv : 
' the speed of its motion is not liable to retardation by collision '. 

xrftripor 8*| ... t& o-roixeioy. Giussani demurs to transporting 
this clause with the rest of the passage on the ground that it sounds 
odd at the close of a section, and would be more natural in intro- 
ducing a new section But we may compare the parallel phrase at 
the close of the discussion of the nature of vision, § 52 1 ko.1 ravryjv ovv 

<r<f>68pa yt Set rrjv 86£av Ka.T<x.eiv. 

V. Thk Soul, its Naturf and Activities. 

The next main section of the letter (§§ 63-68) deals with the nature 
of the soul, or vital principle (i^ux^)- The main points in Epicurus' 
theory are (1) that it is material in character, a corporeal existence 

>9T> p 



(o-S/ta), constructed like other material existences of atoms in composi- 
tion; (2) that the component atoms are extremely subtle in nature; 
(3) that the soul particles are most like those of wind and heat, which 
he also conceives as material substances , (4) that added to these two 
elements is a third unnameable substance, far finer in structure than 
either of them ; (5) that the soul is distributed over the body and is by 
it preserved from destruction, and in turn communicates sensation to 
the body ; (6) that at the dissolution of the body the soul is dissolved 
too and perishes. 

All this is in harmony with the general Epicurean account of the 
soul, but it is put very summarily, and when compared with other 
Epicurean sources would seem to have some omissions. In particular 
there are two notable divergencies from the account given by Lucretius 
in Book III. 

(1) To the elements of breath or wind (ventus) and heat {color, 
vapor) Lucretius adds the third element of air or mist (aer) (ni. 233). 
This account is supported by other Epicurean sources, e.g. Plut adv. 
Coloten 20 (CJsener 314) <Lk twos 0epp,ov ko.1 irvt-ufutTiKov ko.1 dep<o8ovs 

and Aet. IV. 3 (Usener 315) Kpa/u.a ck rtrrapwv, iic iroiov TrvptoSovs, e« 
iroiov atpwSovs, tV iroiov 7rve1yj.aTi.K0v, c< rertLprov twos aKaTovo/uacrTou. 

Giussam (vol 1, pp, 1 84 ff ) has ingeniously explained that by this means 
the idea was obtained of atmosphere in three different temperatures, hot 
air {Gtpixov), air at normal temperature (a-qp), and cold air (nrcS/Aa). 
There is no reason to suppose a discrepancy on this point between 
Epicurus and his disciples, but we must regard the present passage as 
a rough statement, elsewhere elaborated. The ' unnameable' element 
thus becomes 111 Lucretius the quaria natura (111. 241). 

(2) Lucretius distinguishes (111. 94—135) between the anima, the 
vital principle, distributed, as Epicurus says here, all over the body 
and thus the origin of sensation, and the animus, the mind, an aggre- 
gate of pure soul atoms situated in the breast. This distinction had 
already been made by Democritus, and is vouched for not only by the 
scholium on § 67, but by Aelius iv. 4 (Usener 312) and Plut. adv. 
Coloten 20 (Usener 314). It is indeed a fundamental idea in the 
system, and it seems strange that Epicurus should have omitted it here 
Bneger has endeavoured to find a reference to it in § 65, but Giussam 
has, I think, shown conclusively that this is not the case. It may be 
that a passage has been lost in which Epicurus mentioned it, but here 
again it seems more probable that he is speaking summarily and does 
not refer to what was a cardinal point in the doctrine of the soul which 
would have been familiar to the advanced pupils for whom the letter 
to Herodotus was written. 

(1) The first section (§ 63) deals with the nature and atomic com- 
position of the soul. 

§63. 1. owopSf, 'to consider', lit. 'to obtain a comprehensive 
view ' : we may notice the verb : thought is always to Epicurus a kind 
of visualization. 


dra<Mporra, 'referring to' the external and internal sensations, 
i.e. using them, as always in the Epicurean system, as standards or 
criteria of judgement. 

3. 0-up.a : this is a point of the greatest importance. The soul is 
purely material and corporeal, and the popular idea that it is ao-tuftarov 
can have no place in a purely materialist system: see § 67. 

\«rTO|icpls, ' of fine particles ', i.e. as we learn from Lucr. ui 177 ff., 
of small round and smooth atoms put together in a subtle structure : 

cf the scholium On § 67 i£ ar6jj.(iiv avTrjy (rvyK€L(rSa.L XciOTar€i>v Kat rrrfioy- 
yi>Xa>Taro>v, -rroAAw tivi 8ia<f>fpov<ru>v Ttuv rod 7n>pds. 

Trap' 3X.OK to adpourjjia trapecrira.pfj.iyov, mingled in, that IS, with 

the atoms which compose the body all over ; but not necessarily, as 
Democritus held, arranged in alternate layers (see Lucr. 111. 370—395). 

4. irpocKjKfieptfaTaToi' Lucretius says straightforwardly that it js air 
and wind and heat : Epicurus more guardedly that it is ' most like ' 
breath and heat. 

irv«iJ|iaTi : we ought perhaps to notice the strange vai lant of F 
cnrepfjLaTi, though it cannot of course be right. By ir«S/ia Epicurus 
probably means ' wind ' rather than ' breath ' * it like heat was to him 
a corporeal body. 

5 2o-ri Si t6 n^pos, ' there is also the part . .', is the reading of all 
the MSS. and should be kept, though it is rather abrupt. We should 
remember that Epicurus is writing to Herodotus, who is assumed to 
have considerable acquaintance with the system already. Woltjer, 
followed by Brieger, would piefer «rrt Se ti jxtpos, •uhich is unneces- 
sary Usener's violent alteration cVt Si rov ^e'pou? has little to com- 
mend it; he does not realize the introduction here of the 'nameless ' 

6. woXX'f)!' -TrapaXXayVik', ' a large step in the scale ' of fineness of tex- 
ture. For this idea of •n-o./wiAXa.yT; as a series or sequence cf § 55 10. 

7 crujxiraOcs Si toutu> jxaXXoy Kai t<3 Xoiiru dOpouruan tovtoj, as 
Usener quite rightly insists, is a dative of cause, and XomHo Adpol- 
< is governed by o~vfj.7ra6ts. The third /ae/jos is most capable 
of acting in harmony with the rest of the body owing to its subtlety of 
structure, which enables it to interpenetrate the structure of the body 
more completely than can either of the other two elements. Brieger, 
who wishes to read tovtois /auAAov r) r£> Xoi7rc« &9pota-/jutTi, quite mis- 
understands both construction and meaning. 

8. touto Si -rtav . . The evidence of all our experience of the soul's 
nature and actions, &c, makes it clear that the explanation just given 
is the right one. Cf. Lucretius' arguments, amplifying this idea at 
great length, in 417-829. 

oifkov (-iroioGcri). Brieger's addition, adopted by Giussam, is a far 
better correction of a meaningless text in the MSS. than Usener's 
alteration to Hir/yov. Bignone, following Giussani, reads Srjkovo-t the 
omission is more probable than the corruption. 

ro. Sjv o~r€p6u,tvoi Ortjcncop.ct' : lit. ' the loss of what causes our death ', 

p 2 



i.e. what passes away when we die : if we can find out that we shall 
know what the soul is, and the evidence shows that it is particles of 
wind and heat and this other subtle element. 

(2) The second section (§ 64) deals with the origin of sensation. 
This is produced by the movements of the soul-atoms, kept together 
by the body which encloses them, and to which the soul thus com- 
municates sensation. Giussani has called attention here to Brieger's 
very useful distinction between two sorts of compound bodies in the 
Epicurean system : (1) mtxlurae, solid or liquid bodies which are 
capable of holding together by themselves ; (2) iexturae, bodies of rarer 
formation, which cannot keep together unless they are enclosed 
((rr€yd£€ar0cu.) in some more solid body. The soul is eminently an 
example of the latter kind : it could not hold together by itself (it is 
dissipated after death), but when protected by the body it has the 
capacity (Swajus) of producing the ' accident ' (<™/A7rr<u/Aa) of sensa- 
tion by the motion of its own component atoms (notice the purely 
materialist idea), and further of communicating that sensation to the 
body. Thus it is that, thanks to the presence of the soul, the body 
does itself feel, but that immediately the soul has departed it ceases to 
feel — for sensation was never a capacity of the body as such. The 
idea is subtle and of great importance for the Epicurean psychology, 
and is very clearly set out by Lucretius in in. 323-416, some passages 
of which show a marked correspondence with the present text. 

11. -rfjc irXeCtm'H' anlav : notice this careful expression the soul 
has the largest share in the causes of sensation, for it is the soul which 
starts the movement ((anjcris, see below) which produces it but not 
all, for it could not produce sensation, unless through the protection 
of the body that is a cause contributed by the body. 

KaT^xe*f: compare §§ 52. 2, 47 b 8. 

§ 64. r . Taun] v : sc aXo-Or/o-iv, not i-ij v ■n-Xeionjv alriav. 

2. itrrtydlero, ' enclosed ', ' protected ', ' held together '. Cf. Lucr. 
in. 323 : 

haec igitur natura tenetur corpore ab omni. 

-n-apao-Kcimcrae ^K«iVf) tJjc curiae Taurrjc : notice again the accuracy 
of the expression : the protection is a cause of sensation, afforded by 
the body to the soul. 

3. n.eT£iX.r)+e : the body, as a consequence, has ' a share ' in sensa- 

cru/iTTtifia-ros, ' contingent capacity ', or in the logical sense, ' acci- 
dent ' : cf. §§ 68-73. Sensation is not a 'property' (cn^/St/J^ds), 
something essential to the existence of either soul or body, but it is an 
' accident ' or ' secondary quality ' produced by the fact of their com- 

4. ou p&Tca TraVTojc . . ., ' it does not possess all the (rvfjLimo/juiTa 
which result from the combination ', e.g. those of thought and 
visualization, which the mind in the body possesses. This clause 

COMMENTARY. §§63-64 


again suggests that a passage dealing with the mind has dropped 

5. Sirf : and so, when the soul departs, as it has not in itself the 
right kind of movements to produce consciousness, the body loses 
sensation. Giussani wishes to refer Sid not to the previous clause, but 
to the whole preceding description. But this is contrary to Epicurus' 
general practice in this section • he argues carefully clause by clause, 
and there is no real difficulty in the connexion if the body possessed 
all the erv/i7rT<J/xaTa of the soul, it would be able to continue conscious- 
ness after its departure . but as it only has sensation, and that only 
owing to the presence of the soul, it cannot. 

ofi -y&p au-rd Iv icumZ . . . • for it does not have sensation indepen- 
dently, as a capacity of its own The sequence of thought between 
this and the preceding clause is very exactly reproduced by Lucretius, 
»i 356, 357 

at dimissa anima corpus caret undtque sensu ; 
perdit enim quod non propnum fuit eius in aevo. 

6. AW iripu ajj.a tTUYYtytrqpii"* au-rui 7rapecnceua££i' : the datives are 
strongly supported by the MSS iripu> . . o-uyyrytnj/xtVw, and I agree 
entirely with Brieger that it is quite impossible that Epicurus can have 
used ■n-apao-Kcvd^tiv above (1. 2) of something afforded by the body to 
the soul, and later of something afforded by the soul to the body. 
Giussani, preferring Usener's trtpov . a-vyycytv-q/jLcvov, ' something 
else (sc. the soul) born with it supplied it with this faculty ', argues 
against Brieger, that whereas above it was the opportunity (ama) for 
sensation which the body supplied, here it would have to be the sensa- 
tion itself, and that Epicurus could not have said. But he forgets 
surely the meaning of irapao-Koia£eiv, which contains in itself ihe 
notion of ' affording an opportunity for '. I have little doubt that 
Brieger is right the difference does not, however, as Giussani 
notes, affect the mam idea. Bignone also follows Brieger with 

7 au>re\ecr6e[pT)s . . . fcuedp-ews • the latent capacity which the soul 
always had is now perfected or brought into action • an almost 
Aristotelian expression 

8 irepl atn-6, ' within itself, and not, as Giussani suggests, 'owing 
to its being within the body ' . this is much more difficult to extract 
from the Greek, and down to the word a-n-c&CSov Epicurus is thinking 
of the creation of sensation in the soul, and nothing else 

KctTcL Tr)t> KLvrjaie : it is the atomic movement within the soul which 
gives rise to sensation. 

9. efiOu's, ' immediately', ' without external assistance and so ' spon- 
taneously '. 

6fiou'pt](7iK : the 'juxtaposition' of the particles of soul and body. 


10. vupmiOciar : their correspondence of movement ; compare §§ 48. 
11, 50. 3, and Lucr. iii. 335-336 : 

communibus inter eas conflatur utrimque 
motibus accensus nobts per viscera sensus. 

koI iKeifif, of course, ' to the body too '. 
eliroc : sc 11. 2 and 3 above. 

(3) This section (§§ 65, 66) contains deductions from the combina- 
tion of the soul and body just explained. The soul, being- the 
principal cause of sensation, can retain sensation even though portions 
of the body be lost : but the body, which only derives its sensation 
from the presence of the soul, must lose it the moment the soul is 
gone. Again, if the body is utterly broken up, the soul too must lose 
sensation, as it no longer has the body to hold it together. The pas- 
sage is comparatively simple and straightforward, but has been consider- 
ably vexed by the editors. Bneger, who believes that the third fiepos of 
the soul is, in Epicurus' view, the animus, and is alone the cause of sensa- 
tion, thinks that a passage has been lost before this section, in which 
Epicurus made a transition from the anima to the animus, and that 
this section itself deals with the latter. But his whole position has, 
I think, been shown to be untenable by Giussani (pp. 197-208), and 
his view involves, as Giussani has noticed, a very unnatural interpreta- 
tion of this first sentence even the clause (pcrov irori ia-rl . . . i/o^s 
<f}v<riv) which might be thought to tell most m favour of this view has, 
as I shall have to show, been very seriously mistranslated by both 
Brieger and Giussani. 

§ 65. 2. ii-inrdpxoucra : quite literally, ' continuing to exist inside the 
body '. 

fiXXou tico9 pVpous &Tn)XXayp.^eou, ' if some other part (of the whole 
structure of soul and body) be lost '. Compare, for instance, 
Lucretius' description in 111. 642 ff. of the effect of the loss of limbs in 
battle. Brieger, taking f) \(/vx^ here to mean ' the mind ' {animus), 1 e. 
in his theory the third /uipos, interprets ' any other part of the soul ', 
sc. the wind or the heat. But the expression would be, to say the least, 
extremely ambiguous, and the idea of either of these two elements 
being separately ' lost ' is quite contrary to the general notion of 

3. &vaivfh)Tf\<rti. is probably the best restoration (suggested by Kuhn) 

for the ayaia-Oya-tL 01 avaurOrja-Ca of the MSS. : but it IS a curious 


&XX' & &* koi touttjs again seems to be demanded by the sense : 
dXX' a ay is given by FP 1 (as against oXXo. av) and ravnjs is fairly 
guaranteed by the curious ravrrj of the MSS 

tou <rrcyd£oiTo$ XuMktos «T0* 0X00 «Tt« kcu filpou? tif«5s. I follow 
Bignone here in taking tov a-rrya£otTos to mean not ' the whole body 
which encloses the soul but ' that which enclosed ' the particular part 

COMMENTARY. §§ 64-65 


of the tfmxo which is lost, e. g. an arm or a leg suddenly cut off : 
\v9evros will then be parallel in meaning to SiaXvoixtvov, used below 
(1. 9) of the whole body. Giussani takes tov orcya^ovros to refer to 
the whole body : XuOoros cannot then mean ' shattered ' because of 
tiff o\ov. if the whole body is shattered, the soul, as Epicurus says 
below, must perish. He is therefore driven to take \.v&tvro<: m the 
unusual sense of ' shaken ' by a severe shock, and tries to find a 
contrast between it and the compound oiaXvo/jicvov. But, as Bignone 
pomis out, this is mere juggling • the compound is appropriate to 
the whole body, the simple verb to a limb 'loosed' from the rest 
of the body. 

4. i&v -irep Siaplrn, ?£ei : the subject is 17 Xonrq i/a>x»7, the part of the 
soul which remains, when the portions of it in the lost limbs are 
removed The construction is loose, but intelligible. 

5. ?£n : the MSS. all agree on 6£v, another queer mistake, of which 
f£et is a certain correction 

6. Kal SXoc koI Kara fitpos : a loosely tacked on apposition 
(cf above) : the body will not have sensation either m the whole or 
in any part (e. g. a leg or arm cut oil"), if certain atoms have 

7. ^Kcifou c\Trt]\\ayfiiyou . . tt)k -rfjs •I'UX'HS «t )l " Tl >', ' if that sum of 
atoms, however small it be, is lost, which goes to make up (o-wrtivov 
. . . «s) the nature of the soul '. The body can by no means continue 
to have sensation, if the tiny collection of soul atoms be lost. Both 
the sense and the construction seem quite straightforward ■ for 

<Tvvrtivov els cf § 79 3 ""pos to fj.ajcdpi.ov Tas yvuxrti*; (TWTfiveiv and § 80 2 
Trpos to arapa^ov icai fiaKcLpiov r/fxiov o-vvrtivti, and for the general idea 
Lucr. in. 1 19-123 : 

pnncipio fit uti detracto corpore multo 
saepe tamen nobis in membris vita moretur , 
atque eadem rursum, cum corpora pauca calons 
diffugere forasque per os est editus aer, 
deserit extemplo venas atque ossa rehnquit. 

But the editors have made great havoc. 

(a) Bneger, with his idea that the all through this section is 

the animus, the pure third /utpos, would take it ' if that is lost, which, 
however small it be, is that which links together the vast mass of the 
atoms to the nature of the soul': i.e. the breath and heat again, 
which act as a link between ' pure soul ' and body But we have 
already seen the impossibility of this idea. 

(5) Giussani, arguing against Bneger, adopts with some hesitation 
the rendering . ' if there is lost that quantum of matter, however small 
it be, which attunes the mass of the atoms into harmony with the 
animal life'. He then makes the very far-fetched supposition that 
Epicurus is arguing against Anstoxenus and those philosophers who 


thought that the soul was a harmoma, and therefore ironically uses the 
musical metaphor trwrtivov. The quantum of matter is of course the 
sou] itself, which attunes the body into harmony with ttjv t^s u/vvi}s 
<£wiv. The looseness of Giussam's translation obscures the difficulty 
that you would then have expected iavrov instead of r>)s u>t>x*7 s > ^ ut 
this, he thinks, may be justified owing to the preceding neuter 

But the fatal objection to both these renderings is that they translate 
as if the text were to o-writvov to t£>v oro/uov irXrjdos. It is not, and, 
unless to be inserted, which is quite unnecessary, to a-wrilvov tuv 
ir6fui>v irXfjOos must go altogether as nominative. 

I am glad to find that Bignone here agrees with me exactly. 

9. Sia\uop.l>-ou • of the dissolution of the body into its component 
parts, each of which Xvcrat Though SioAuo/mVov is only read by F, 
it is supported by B's Suo/xcVov against the simply Auo/ievou of the 
other MSS., and I follow Giussani in adopting it. 

10. KifeiTai. There is great probability in Brieger's conjecture, 
adopted by Giussani, that the words Tas a^ris K«njo-tn have fallen out. 
Cf. Lucr. in. 569 moventur senstferos moius. Bignone, to obtain the 
same sense, would read Ktv-qtrw for Kivelrai But the clause will make 
good general sense without it, and on the whole it seems best not to 
' restore '. 

§ 60. 1 ou yap ol6v tc votiv . , . - it is inconceivable that the soul 
can exist as a sentient being outside the protection of the body. This 
of course paves the way for the essential idea of the Epicurean philo- 
sophy that the soul is mortal. 

o6t6 . a rough reference to -r] ^XV- Seeing the many changes from 
feminine to neuter in this passage, it may probably be retained : 
Usener's alteration to to going with aurdavofttvov is of course easy, 
but unnecessary. 

2. (ov), which Usener suggests in his note, is badly needed to com- 
plete the sense and may easily have fallen out before iv. 

o-uo-T^fiaTi, ' organism ' . 1. e. the aflpoioyxa of soul and body — another 
word with an Aristotelian flavour. 

4. tv 0T5 Usener suggests iv o'ots, but it is not really necessary. 

At the end of this section there is an interesting scholium in the 
MSS (see cnt. app.). 

This supplements, the brief account of the letter in several important 
respects : (a) the shape and nature of the soul-atoms ; (6) the division 
between the ' vital principle ' (to akoyov) distributed over the body and 
the ' mind ' (to AoyucoV), situated, as Epicurus thought, in the breast ; 
(<-) the origin of sleep (cf. Lucr. iv. 907 ff.). It is also a conclusive 
proof against Brieger's view that the present section deals with to 
\0yiK0v only. 

(4) In the last section of this chapter Epicurus, having established 
his own view, proceeds to refute the popular belief that the soul is an 
incorporeal existence. The only incorporeal existence, he argues, 

COMMENTARY. §§ 65-67 


which can be conceived of as existing independently (i.e. not as a 
quality or relation or accident of some corporeal entity) is the void. 
Now the void, as it cannot touch or be touched, cannot act or be acted 
on by anything else. The soul then, which manifestly does act and is 
acted on, cannot be in nature like the void, cannot therefore be an 
independent incorporeal existence. It must be tangible and therefore 

The general sense of the passage is clear, but it has considerable 
difficulties in detail, which have been passed over rather summarily by 
the editors. Giussani, for instance, remarks that it is not even neces- 
sary to translate the section. 

§ 67. 2 irpooxaTaeoeiK, ' to obtain a clear mental vision of this in 
addition to what we have already seen The MSS have on to 

a<T<j>(xa.TOV \tyci yap Kara, rrjv TrXfCcrrriv ofjLiXiav tov 6v6fnaro<s «rl tov 
naff iavro vo-qOivTo? av Three lines of correction are possible, none 
of which is completely satisfactory (1) Usener noting that Aeyei yap 
is the regular formula of introduction for a scholium, would remove 
\tyti yap xaru ttjv 7r\tL(rri)v ufuXiav from the text as a gloss. 
He then writes o ti to ao-iafiarov, sc. icrri, ' what the incorporeal 
IS , and takes tov ovo/uaTos Itt'l tov Kaff tavro votjdivros av as a 
genitive absolute, and in this is followed by Giussani, but neither of 
them gives a hint how the words should be translated • presumably 
' if the name were to be thought of in reference to the independent 
existence '. But (a) the av is unnecessary, {6) the next sentence shows 
clearly that toC Kaff iavro vo-qOivroi must be taken together. More- 
over, as against Usener's view in general, the usual form of Epicurus' 
introduction of new topics demands on not 6 n, and, though Atyci yap 
often introduces scholia, the note ' he is speaking in the ordinary 
acceptance of words' would be a very strange one. 

(2) We may then assume that on is right. Giussani then follows 
the suggestion of Lortzmg, who adds after dtruywiTov (ov 8e! Kanj-yo- 
ptlv rrjs t^u^s), ' that we must not predicate incorporeality of the soul '. 
But there is no warrant for such an insertion, and the whole run of 
the section is against it. Epicurus speaks first of the incorporeal in 
general, and only applies the idea to the (/'"XV ln '• 7* Moreover it 
would necessitate Kaff iavro yap (not St) in the next sentence. 

(3) Far better is the suggestion of Bignone, who retains oti. and 
Kara ttjv irXtio-rrjv ofjukiav (with tov ovo/jxitos) and emends ktyei yap 
to \iytrai : ' that the incorporeal is applied in the general acceptation 
of the term to that which can be thought of independently '. I have 
with some hesitation followed him. The sense is far better, but 
{a) \tyerai for A.ey« yap is not very probable (nor is von der Muehll's 
Xcyo/xev, which would give the same sense), (l>) the use of ifuXia in 
this sense is unparalleled in classical Greek, and (c) one would expect 
the conclusion to be ' that which can be thought of independently as 
suck', i.e. as incorporeal. For Kara, ttjv TrXeCcmjv ofjuXCav compare 
§7©-3 Kara ty/v ir\t[o~rrjv tpopdv. 



5. rb ii why . . . The void cannot act or be acted on because its 
only property is intangibility (intactus, Lucr. i. 454), and for all forms 
of action or suffering touch is a necessity. 

6. t&w[<j\v . . . -irap 'x eTal : c ^ § 4°- 

7. &o9' oi Xfyorres . . . : for the application of the idea to the soul 
compare Lucretius 111. 16 1-7, where the poet very clearly brings out the 
necessity of touch for action, which is rather implied in lhe present 

8. ovrt tr&axeiv. Usener suggests in his notes that we should alter 
to ovSt. But the assumption of the first ovrt of a pair is fairly common 
in Greek at all periods. 

9. SiaXa^rffCTai. The MSS agree here upon hiakafifUvti, which 
will not make sense Usener boldly alters to <TVfi{ia.(v€L, which is of 
course perfectly easy, and he is tacitly followed by Giussam. But the 
alteration is very serious. In § 69 in defining the nature of a-vfj./3t/3rj- 
k&to. Epicurus speaks of them as tn-i/JoAAs l^ovra ISCas . . . nal 8iaXip)/ti<;, 
sc they can be perceived independently and distinguished. On the 
strength of that statement I suggest that SiaAa/j./3averai is the right 
reading here : the occurrences of ' both action and suffering are 
separately perceived in reference to the soul ', 1. e we are aware of 
both and distinguish between them Though the sense is a little 
difficult, it is I think possible, and the change is not so unwarrantable 
as Usener's. Bignone suggests in the same sense StaXa^avtts, which 
is palaeographically easier, but the introduction of the second person 
is awkward : there would be less objection to von der Muehll's pro- 
posed 8iaXa/xj3dvo/tev. 

10. t& auprnifiara : action and suffering are, of course, in Epicurus' 
technical sense 1 accidents ' , cf § 70. 

§ 68. 1. TauTa ovv wdrra . . : the conclusion of the section : these 
general formulae will, by constant reference to the facts of internal 
and external sensation, give sufficient ground for the comprehension 
of the details. 

8iaX.OYi'cr(jLaTa, 'results of reasoning', i.e results of imfiokal tt}s 
Stovowts as opposed to mere irpoa8o£a£6fteva from sensation : cf 
§ 62 fin. 

2 (tA) is a necessary insertion of Usener's. 

3. two iv dpxfj faOivTtav : sc, in §§ 37 and 38 as to the principles of 

Uayus must go with iixirtpifiXr)jxfi.iva, not, as Giussam apparently 
takes it, with Kcn-o^n-ai. ' He will see the investigations of reason 
sufficiently embodied in these general formulae to make him . . .'. 
For rvn-os in this sense cf. § 35. 

4. (km rq): again a necessary addition, and once more a confusion 
between koi and Kara, this lime taking the form of * haplography '. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 67-68 


VI. ' Properties ' and ' Accidents '. 

Epicurus passes, with a more obvious link of connexion than usual 
after his discussion of to aa-wfiarov, to consider another class of things 
which might be regarded as do-cu/oara, namely qualities. Of these, 
including time, he treats in the next four sections (§§ 68-73) tne text is 
difficult, and the general theory has been much discussed by the com- 
mentators. He divides qualities into ou^j8c/3^icoto and oTJ/*7TTc5/xa.Ta. 
We may roughly render these words by ' properties ' and ' accidents ', 
as Lucretius does by the corresponding terms in general use m Latin, 
coniuncta and eventa (1. 449, 450), but we must attempt to gel more 
closely at the underlying ideas. 

(1) Properties. In the first section (to § 69 fin ) Epicurus deals 
with <Tv/i/3e/3j7KOTa : these he regards as the qualities, which are essential 
and .inseparable physical constituents (though not of course material 
parts) of a corporeal existence. It is these qualities which are imme- 
diately perceptible by the senses, and the perception of a body is the 
aggregate perception of its properties. To the a-v^tP^Kora then it 
owes its continued existence as body, and if any of them were to be 
removed from it, it would mean the break-up of its physical existence : 
cf. Lucr. i. 451-452 (a very careful statement) . 

coniunctum est id quod nusquam sine permitiah 
discidio potis est seiungi seque gregari. 

Similarly, no <rv/i/3e/?77Kos can exist by itself apart fiom the aggregate 
body, which with other crvfiftt^Kora it constitutes : but with them it 
has a corporeal existence as a constituent part of a o-w/jlcl 

Much of the criticism which has been brought against Epicurus' 
theory of <m/x/3t/3TjitoTa, especially by Bneger and Munro (on Lucr 1 
449 ff.), takes the line of charging him with inconsistency. They argue 
that he has no definite line of cleavage between crv/j.j3cf3T]K6Ta and a-vfj.- 
irroiliara, that, for instance, he sometimes classes colour as a <rvit(3e(3rjK6<;, 
sometimes as a <rvfjLirro>fj.a. Giussani, who has dealt carefully with this 
criticism (pp. 33-37), has, I think, completely absolved Epicurus from 
the charge. He points out that the terms are not absolute but relative, 
that what is a {m/t/Je/ifyicds of one thing is the a-u^irrtiifjLa of another, 
or even of the same thing looked at from a different point of view. 
' Slavery ', for instance, which Lucretius (1. 455) takes as an example 
of an eventum (o-v/A7rr<o/x.a), is an evenium of ' man ', but a otj/u./3£/St;kos 
of ' slave '. ' Colour ' again, to deal with the example of the critics, is 
a (rufjLirrwiJLa of body, because in the dark a body has not colour, yet 
its physical existence is in no way impaired ; but it is a <tu/u./Jc/?77/cos 
of an oparov, for nothing can be seen except as coloured. It is strange 
that when Epicurus at the outset had, as we shall see, carefully guarded 
against this misconception, he should have been attacked on this very 
ground. Bignone, who would defend Epicurus on the same lines, 


seems to me to go too far in regarding avtij3t/3r}K6<: and ovfjorno/ia not 
as technical terms at all, but almost interchangeable in their applica- 
tion : see note on waavti crvn^(/3rjK6ra, 1 7. 

The three main points then to be remembered are (1) the essen- 
tially material conception of the (rvp.j3t^Kvra as physical constituents 
of body, (2) their immediate relation to the senses, (3) the impossi- 
bility of their existence except in relation to ' things '. Epicurus is 
throughout arguing both against the Platonic conception of the ' ideas ' 
and against the Stoic view that qualities were in themselves moiuira. 

6. tA xP&P aTa : we need not then be surprised at the presence 
of 'colours' in this list. The other qualities enumerated are the 
properties of all bodies (irao-iv below), ' colours ' belong to toIs bpar6i<s, 
which Epicurus has scrupulously added. Similarly sound and smell 
would be qualities belonging to bodies as recognizable (yvuKn-ois) by 
other senses. 

7. QHxavti crufj.0f pT|KOTa. The MSS have to? av cis avra. /Je/Jj/fcora, of 

which the emendation attributed by Casaubon to Galesius has been 
almost universally adopted, ' as though they were the concomitant 
properties '. Btgnone, however, believing (rvp.fie/3r)K6ra to be a general 
term and not sufficiently explicit in itself, prefers <Ls av Aei o^u/Se/Si/Kora, 
' as though permanent concomitants '.distinguished from the occasional 
concomitants which Epicurus usually describes' as o-v/iirrw/AaTa. If, 
however, we follow Gtussani in his explanation of the relative character 
of the terms o-v/a/2€/2tjkos and 0-^71-70)^0 (see the general note at the 
beginning of the section), this is unnecessary, as o-u/x/Sc/J^Kora in itself 
conveys the idea of permanence, and «Ls uk Ati o-vixfitfirjKora. sounds 
an unnatural form of expression 

8. t\ -rratriv <j toIs 6paToIs of the examples given by Epicurus above 
(T-ffyifia. /xeytOos and jSapos are (rvfj-fttftrjicoTa of Tavra. (all corporeal 
things) and x/ouiuaTc of to opard. 

KaTa ri)v ala&r)triv aindv yytiioTots, ' recognizable by the sensation of 
these qualities 1. e. all concrete bodies are recognized by the percep- 
tion of their qualities • shape, size, and weight apply to all, and beyond 
this some may be known by thetr colour through sight, others through 
their taste or smell. This is the reading of the third hand in P and 
seems the best solution The MSS. however all have avrots yvaxrrols, 
and this would, I think, just construe, ' recognizable for what they are 
by perception', i.e if we go into a dark room and smell a certain 
smell we recognize the object for what it is, a rose There is certainly 
no need to follow Usener in the drastic emendation coi/oai-os yvwa-rd, 
' the <rvjj.ptpr}K6ra which are recognizable tn the perception of the 
whole body ', and it is unfortunate that much of Giussani's argument 
(pp. 36 fT.) should be based upon it. 

9. o39* d>s kclV iavris «l<™ <f>uaeis the properties are not ' physical 
existences by themselves ', i.e independent of other physical existences. 
He is thinking here specially of the Platonic conception of the 
' ideas 

COMMENTARY. §§68-69 

a 37 

to. od y*P Sukot&k ■ . : the usual Epicurean test . we cannot 
' visualize ' shape or weight, &c, existing by itself apart from a body 
of which it is a property. 

§ 60. 1. outc 8X«s <&s ouk elaLv, ' nor can we say that they do not 
exist at all a seemingly rather futile addition, but not so, when we 
remember that to Epicurus existence, except in the case of the void, 
means corporeal existence. He has probably in mind here the 
sceptical attitude of Democritus 

a oS9' &s ?Tep' aira . . . dawfiaTa : they are not incorporeal exis- 
tences, subsisting as accompaniments of body : we have seen (§ 67) 
that the only independent incorporeal existence is the void : it might 
be supposed that qualities were independent or relative incorporeal 
existences (practically the theory of Aristotle). But this Epicurus 
cannot accept because they are perceptible to the senses. 

ou9' us mSpia toutou nor again are they separable parts of the 
body : something into which it might be physically divided up like 
the oyKoi mentioned below, 1. 5. The argument here is directed 
against the Stoics, who spoke of properties and accidents alike as 


3. Ka66Xou : the body 'in its entirety' is constituted of an aggregate 
of qualities : there is no part of it of which this is not true : it owes 
its existence as a unity and as a ' whole ' to its constituent properties. 

(Ik) toutw ' a necessary insertion made by Meibom 

4. di'SioK, ' permanent ', lit ' everlasting ' , not, of course, with the 
implication that body is eternal, but only that, so long as it exists, its 
existence is continuously and always bound up with its constituent 

oux olov &' elycu (^k) <njfi.irc<J>opT|^i'ci)f, ' yet not such as to owe its 
existence to things that have been brought logether to form it '. The 
testimony of the MSS. is overwhelmingly in favour of o-u/i7re<£op-ij/xe»w 
and etc must be inserted as above before tow. Usener adopts 
<rvftTT€<f>opT)fL£vov from F, but (a) the parallel of (<V) tovtwv above is 
strongly against this, (5) the compound body could not be said to be 
<rv/j.TT£<t>op7)/j.evov, but only the particles which composed it (compare 
<rv/j.<j>6pr]<riv Be ix tovtoiv Kiyr/criv i^ovrwv . . ., § 59. 10) 

5. tJorrcp orav . . The material parts of a body, the atoms and the 
larger molecules, are of course 'brought together' to form the com- 
pound body : with the properties it is not so : they are physical con- 
stituents, but not material parts. 

oyKuv . in a general sense ' the parts ', great or small, of which 
a body may be composed, subsequently subdivided into (a) t<Jv -n-pwruiv 
. . fjLtyc&G>v : the oy K<ov m the technical sense, ' the first parts ' or ' mole- 
cules ', the minima of sensation (cf §§ 57, 58), or (i) rS>v tov o\ov 
fixytQ&v -rovSt tivos tXa-rrovtov, larger ' parts ' of the whole body, which 
are still fractions of it. * 

6. firycOwr: the MSS. have p.tye$Giv, which may be kept (so 
Bignone) : both the order of words and the expression are a little 


awkward and Schneider's fitp&v would make it much easier, but 
there seems no necessity for adopting it. 

7. Toufce -nvb% tka-rrirov, ' smaller than the body, whatever it is the 
idiomatic use of to (cf. Soph. Ant. 252 SxrqfixK oipyd-ntp tis rjv). 

8. iiri£o\&s . . . ixpyra I8tos, ' they have their own occasions of per- 
ception ', «ri/3o\ae here riov aMrfhrrypluv (cf. § 50 and notes) i.e. they 
are capable of being looked at individually ; we can pay attention to the 
colour of a thing apart from its weight or its size. Bignone translates 
' intuitions ', but here it is probably not used in the technical sense of 

i7riy3o\as tjjs Siavotas. 

9. Kal SiaX^ifeis* ' and they have their distinctions ' : we can make 
a distinction between the various properties ; size, weight, &c. 

aufnrapaKoXoudouKTos 8t too dOpdou : a limitation of the last 
clause, we can ' look at ' or ' pay attention to ' the colour of a body, 
apart from its weight or size, but only so long as the whole body is 
there too : it is not to be supposed that we could ' abstract ' the colour 
and look at it. 

10 &ir<xrxi£op.l»'ou . . e!X.T)<$>«5Tos. Usener has again done violence 
to the text and meaning by altering both these participles to the neuter 
plural nom. • ' if the properties are never separated from the whole, 
but thanks to the conception of the whole body acquire predication ' 
(so Bignone) . 1. e. the properties are predicable owing to their share 
in the complete comprehension of the body, constituted by the aggre- 
gate of qualities. This is quite good sense and not at all inconsistent 
with Epicurean doctrine, but it is an unnecessary change. The 
genitives need not be altered . ' the properties have their own iwi/3o\aC 
and BwX-q^/€i%, provided the aggregate is always with them and is never 
torn from them, but derives its predication as body from the aggregate 
comprehension of the properties ' . 1. e. we call a thing body, because 
we are aware of size, shape, weight, &c, in combination Again, it is 
unfortunate that much of Giussani's elucidation should be built up on 
Usener"s perversion of the text. 

(2) § 70. Accidents. Epicurus' conception of ' accidents ' is rather 
easier than that of ' properties '. The ' accident ' in just the same way is 
not an independent corporeal existence, nor is it incorporeal, but 
has corporeal existence only m connexion with the body to which 
it is attached. But it differs from the property in that it is not a 
necessary physical constituent of body, but may or may not attach 
to it at any given time, and does not by its presence or absence 
alter the essential nature of the body. Lucretius (i. 456-458) has 
again put it clearly : 

cetera quorum 
adventu manet incolumis natura abituque, 
haec sohti sumus, ut par est, eventa vocare. 

Thus Socrates remains Socrates, whether he is free or slave, good 
or bad, speaking or being spoken to. Secondly, just as the (rvfi/3t/3rf- 
K&ra are immediately perceptible in sensation iirifioXas lx ovTa > 80 tfte 

COMMENTARY. §§ 69-70 


<ru/i«Tc5/iaTa are an inference from sensation (ko.t" iwiySoXas was). 
Roughly then the a~up.irrvipja.Ta, are ' contingencies ' or ' accidents ', and 
under them we may class ' secondary ' qualities, states, actions, and 
occurrences, but we must again remember that the term is not abso- 
lute, but relative to the body with which it is connected and to the 
point of view from which it is considered • colour is a o-v/Mmo/ia of 
body, but a o-v/x/?c/3i7«os of to bparov. 

The repetition in this section is almost more noticeable than in the 
last — a sure sign that Epicurus is dealing with a matter of impor- 

§ 70. 1. koi ouk diSiov . . . &o-«5fia.Ta. There is serious corruption 
here, but editors are not agreed as to where it lies. The MSS have 
ko.1 ovk SllSwv irapaKokovBtZv (jTrapaKokovBti B) ovt iv toIs aopirovs koX 
ovrt acroipara 

(1) Usener keeps irapaKo\ov6€Zv and marks a lacuna after it, adding 
in his note ' o-vp-rrwpxLTa scriptor definit '. This is hardly explicit 
enough, and his change just after of kclC to torai is not convincing , a 
future is not wanted. Giussani follows Usener's text and is content to 
leave the lacuna vague. * 

(2) Bignone marks no lacuna but reads irapaKoXovOd a y (Ar 

Corrupted to N) ovt iv Tols dopaTois k(o1 avcLitrOirp-oi'; Sofocrrtov tiv)at 

ovTe acrci/iara. ' Theie frequently occur to bodies without permanently 
belonging to them contingencies which we must not suppose to be 
among things inusible and imperceptible nor incorporeal '. But the 
emendation a. y is not very probable, and the supplement is in itself 
gratuitous and does not cover what Epicurus would have been likely 
to say. 

(3) If we take the words as they stand in the MSS (a) the infini- 
tive TrapaKokovSfiv may well have been explained by something in the 
lacuna, if it is necessary to suppose one. (5) ovt iv Tot's aoparoK c'vui 
ovtc aa-u>pMTa is clearly a reference to the two Epicurean categories of 
real existence, the atoms (5S>7\a. or aopara) and the void (ao-wparov). The 
<Tvp.Trrwixa.Ta., he says, do not come under either of these two heads. 
{c) Would Epicurus have been content to deny these two forms of 
existence to the o-vp.TrTwpa.Ta. or would he have added more ? Clearly, 
I think, there must have been a reference to the existence of com- 
pound things (to oXov) as above, and further he would most likely have 
denied, as he did of the o-vp(3c(3r)K6Ta, the idea that they did not exist 
at all. (d) elvcu is a more probable restoration of kcu than eorcu. 
I therefore read the passage as in the text, and should suppose that it 
originally ran something like koI /xt)v koX toIs o-uljuacri ou/«riVrtt iroX- 

Xaxis ko.1 ovk aiSiov TrapaxoXovdilv {(palvera.1 oTa ovTt oXujs <I>s ovk io-rl 

So£»CJT€OV, OVTt TYJV TOV o\ov <pVO~lV i^iiv) OUT* €V TOIS aopaLTOlS clval OVTC 


3. KftTi TT)v--\el<m-v$opdv, ' according to common usage ': compare 
§ 67. 2 Kara ty)v -rktia-n-v bptXCav, and remember that at the beginning 
of the letter Epicurus laid down the principle that ordinary words were 


to be used in their ordinary sense. Lucretius (i. 458) faithfully repro- 
duces this point : 

haec soliti sumus, ut par est, eventa vocare. 

4. oSre tSjk tou 8Xou Qvcriv i\eiv : see above § 68. 9 : like the-oryi/Jt- 
firjK&ra. they are not independent corporeal existences. 

5. 8 <ruXXaP«4>r«s Kcrrii t4 iAp&ov crupa irpoeayopcOopef , ' which we 
call body, comprehending it altogether in the aggregate', sc. of its 
properties , see the last clause of the last section 

6. otfre Tiff TUf diSioK irapaKoXouOouKTuc here the <rvfnrTojfia differs 

from the o-vju/Jt^Kos . it is not a permanent and essential constituent 
of body. 

&v &Veu crufui ou Suvot^i' yottfrOai : Giussani rightly points out 
(p. 30, note) that this must not be taken to mean ' without which it is 
impossible to conceive body as such ', for in that case size, shape, and 
weight would be the only three a-vp^e^Kora, but it must mean ' a 
body ' any given body ', thought of enher as body simply, or as an 
bparov, Slkov(tt6v, &C 

7. kot' £mpo\&s $' av Ti^as the crv/x/Jt/J^Kora are directly perceived 
in acts of apprehension, but the <rvp.Trrmp.aTa. only m relation to such 
acts : e.g. we see a man in a certain attitude, &c , and thus know that 
he is writing, «ri/?oA.<u' is again used here in the untechnical sense of 
' acts of apprehension ' on the part of the senses. 

irapaKoXou8ooKTos tou &0p6ou . the same important provision as in the 
case of the crup^i^rfKoTa . we cannot infer an ' accident ' any more 
than we can perceive a property apart from the body to which it 

8. irpoaayopeuBeiT), dXX* ore 8tjttot€ . . . OcwpeiTcu. Usener again 
supposes a lacuna after Trpoa-ayopevBety and changes d\X' ore to aXX' 
oro), taking the clause presumably to have run, ' we can apply the 
name o-vpTn-wpara to them not as independent existences but in con- 
nexion with whatever body they are seen to be happening to on each 
occasion '. Bignone has however shown that if the MS. text AW o-rt 
is retained, it is unnecessary to suppose any loss : dAA' o-rt . . . then 
becomes a limiting clause, ' we can call them (rvp.TrTwpa.Ta but only at 
the moment when each is seen to be happening . We may notice, as 
showing the interchangeability of his terminology, that Epicurus here 
uses crv/x^atVovTa of the a-vpjrrmpaTa — but there is an obvious difference 
of meaning between the present and the perfect. 

§ 71. 2. diStoK : both here and in the several successive places where 
it occurs some or all of the MSS. have corrupted dtSiov into dtSiW 
owing to the surrounding genitives. 

3. ra&rifv ri)v ivapyelay, 'the immediate vision', i.e. the perception 
of the o-vfUTTTw/iJiTa. as part of the direct data of sense . there is in the 
MSS. the usual corruption to tvtpydav. 

4. Sti, ' because ' : the following clause gives the reasons which might 

COMMENTARY. §§ 70-72 

lead us to regard the o-ofxirrafuara as not belonging to the real. Hicks 
translates 'this clear evidence that \ but (<j) this is an unusual con- 
struction in Epicurus, (6) it involves a tautology in the next sentence, 
which he avoids by translating Kaff avrd, ' permanent existences ', which 
is not justifiable. The o-ufiTrrdifxara are themselves an ivapyeta, and 
we must not either deny them reality or think of them as independent 

The words Sr) *cai croi/ia Trpoa-ayoptvo/xey which occur in the MSS. 
after o-vfifialvti are rightly excluded by Usener as a gloss derived from 
several similar expressions in these sections. They are, however, 
retained by von der Muehll. 

7. dXV 3irep ical <t>aiVeTai we must accept as truth just what is 
presented to us in sensation — an emphatic declaration of the main 
Epicurean posiuon, of which this notion of the a-vfj.7rratiJ.aTa is the 
direct -outcome. 

8. irtf^Ta Ka)ii to a<5p.aTa (Bignone) is a better correction of the 
meaningless irdvra to. awtxara of the MSS than Usener's iravra o-07/.a.Tos 
or von der Muehll's 

9. Tayfia, ' a position in the ranks ' of independent existences . a 
rather unusual word for Epicurus 

iW tv Tp6irov . . . OcupciTai the construction breaks off into a 
main clause. Such abruptness is not unusual with Epicurus, and it is 
probably unnecessary to adopt either Bignone's suggestion dXk' (<uv) 
ov Tp&rrov or Usener's Oewptla-Oai or 6e<uprjTcov, any of which would 
mend the construction grammatically 

10. l8i<5-rrjTa, 'peculiar characteristics' (proprielas 111 Latin) 

§ 72. (3) The nature of iime As a kind of appendix to the 
explanation of the o-vfj.f3cf3-r}K<jTa and <Tvfj.Trrwixa.ra, Epicurus deals 
with the special question of the nature of time The general 
idea is clear, but the expression unusually obscure. Time differs 
from everything else in that we cannot have a general concep- 
tion (-n-poXijt/us) of it, !. e. a visual mental image resulting from 
a number of individual perceptions (see § 37 note) This we have 
of all classes of objects, and of their properties and accidents. 
We have, for instance, a conception of stone, with which is asso- 
ciated hardness and roughness, and we recognize an individual 
stone as such by reference (avay mros) to this TrpoX-qij/ii. But we 
have not a general conception (a mental image) of time, nor again 
is there anything else like it to which we might refer it (space was of 
course to Epicurus a real existence and not a relation). What then 
can we say about it ? We must refer to the test of our experience, as 
usual : and we then perceive that it is something that we associate 
(crufj.iT\tKOfj,cv) with day and night, or again with our internal states, or 
with the external states of motion and rest We decide then on the 
basis of this intuition (ivapyrffta) without waiting for further discussion 
that time is a special kind of 'accident' associated with these states, 
&c, that are themselves accidents of body. In fact, time is not either a 

«"!» Q 



<rvft/3€Pr}K6e or a ovftirratfjM of concrete things, but as Sertus Empiricus 
tells us that Epicurus stated (adv. Math. x. 219) time is a «rvf«rT<o/ia 
tru/iwTta^aTtov. The conclusion is in absolute harmony with the Epicu- 
rean principles, and the whole idea is well brought out by Lucretius 
1. 459-463 = 

tempus item per se non est, sed rebus ab ipsis 
consequitur sensus, transactum quid sit m aevo, 
turn quae res ins>tet, quid porro demde sequatur. 
nec per se quemquam tempus sentire fatendumst 
semotum ab rerum motu placidaque quiete. 

1. irpoaicaTaror}<7ai . used of an additional point connected with what 
has preceded , cf. § 67 imt. 

2. ofi Irfrifriov, ' we must not look to find it '. When we use the 
word ' time ' there does not come up in our minds any mental picture 
of an object with which we associate it, as there does, for instance, if 
we think of weight or redness 

tA \ourd is then ' all other a-v/JL/if/Sr/KOTa and <rvyjmw(La.Ta. ', which, as 
has been seen in the last two sections, are invariably connected with 
an &.6p6ov. 

iv iln-oKcifj.A'u), ' in an object '. The woKti/icvov is that which ' lies 
beneath ', i.e* the actual thing, which is the cause of sensation and 
from which the eiSwXa, &c , which sLir our senses are derived 

4. irpo\V)<|rci.s, 'concepts', lit. 'anticipations', the 'composite photo- 
graphs ' formed in our mind by the combination of many individual 
impressions, by which we identify fresh objects of sensation. They 
are of course with the <uo-0??cr«s and the Tj-a&j (and possibly the 
iTri/Sokri t>7s Siavoias) the npiT^pia of truth compare K. A. xxiv. We 
may notice that the idea is so definitely that of mental visualization 
that Epicurus actually uses the participle fi\eiro/j.eva.s, ' which are seen': 
it is true, however, that it is not his usual word for the actual sensation 
of sight, though it comes near it in § 48 10 

outo t6 £rdpy»)fj.a, ' the actual intuition ' or ' sense impression ' which 
we get of time. The word is usually used by Epicurus of the ' clear 
vision ' of an object which we get on the nearer view, but here in a 
slightly extended sense of the ' immediate perception' which we have 
of time without any associations of theory or analysis. This we must 
examine (ivakoyurrcov) to see what it really is and how it arises 

5. auyyeciKiis touto iiri4>^po>TOS. The MSS. have irtpicf>tpovTfS, 

which it is not easy to make sense of, and Usener's emendation to 
hri(f>tpovTK has been generally accepted. This can only be construed 
grammatically with &.va<pa>vovftfv, * we speak of a short time or a long 
time, applying this (sc. the idea of length or brevity) as we do to other 
thtngs', i.e. using for duration the concepUon of measure, which we 
usually apply to spatial relations. This is not very satisfactory, and 
Bignone is probably right in taking the words with ivakoyurrtov, only 
if so, it is essential to emend to the acc. ernKptpovrai. He then trans- 

COMMENTARY. §§ 72-73 


lates « by keeping before us the specific determinate character of these 
modes of speaking '. I do not see how this is to be extracted from 
the Greek, and would rather take it to mean ' by applying our intuition 
to time as we do to other things ', i.e just as in other cases we use the 
immediate data of sense to determine the nature of the thing percetved, 
so here we must use our direct intuition to determine the nature of 
time, and if we do so, we find, as he goes on to say, that it is really 
a <TvfiirT<DfjLa associated with various crvfnrrwfuiTa. of things. But I feel 
very doubtful about the words. 

6. Sici\6ctous, ' expressions \ almost ' descriptions ' of time. Hicks 
notes that time had, for instance, been defined as ' number of motion ' 
or ' measure of motion '. 

7 kut" auTou : both times the phrase occurs the majority of the 
MSS. have kclO' avrov, a mere error due to the occurrence of similar 
phrases in the previous sections 

8. out€ aXXo ti . . . We cannot predicate anything else about time ■ 
we cannot assign it to any special category of existences, for there is 
nothing else which is similar to it in nature . it is sui generic. He 
must of course here be thinking of some special efforts to class time 
with something else, but it is not clear what. 

9. *xov, MSS cxovtos, a mistake due either to the neighbourhood 
of tear avrov or possibly to a misunderstanding. Von der Muehll 
retains e^on-os, but in what sense is not clear. 

ISiujuiaTL, ' a peculiar' or ' unique existence ' ; cf. tSiorrp-a, § 71. ro. 
ro <ru(ji-irX^KO(ji€i', ' associate it ', in our ordinary thought or ways of 

1 1 ^mXo-yio-Woe, ' we must turn our thoughts to it ', ' reflect on it ', 
m a quite general sense so tViAoyio-^oS, § 73. 2. 

§ 73 1. Atvo8«i£€&is, ' logical proof it is not a matter for reasoning, 
but simply of careful attention to our experience 

2. Tats rju^pais ica! Tats fu£* cru|jiTrX^Koucy. Our normal association 
of time is with the succession of day and night. Now they are them- 
selves (Tvix-mwixara of the earth, or the sky, or the sun, or generally of 
' our world ' time then is a 0-vfuirTwp.a. of them, or a o-vfjurruifia. o-v/jl- 

4 rots iretfleox ical rats diraOctais . another association of time is with 
our own feelings or absence of feelings (e.g in sleep), because we per- 
ceive these states as lasting for a longer or shorter period : so, too, 
with motion and rest 

5. I&i6>> ti CTuuirTUfia, ' a special kind of accident ' : the duration of 
states, &c, is an eventum which is sui generis. 

irdXif • i.e. in the case of irdOco-i, &c, 'again', just as in the case 
of day and night. Usener, looking in this clause for a summary of the 
whole section, reads mrra for iraXiv, referring rovra irdm-a to the whole 
list rf/jLtpaii Kal w£i as well as those mentioned in the second clause. 
But this is rewriting, and in fact the section is left without any sum- 
ming up. 

Q 2 



At the end of the section there is a scholium : ' this he says also is 
the second book of the Hepl <f>vartms and in the Greater Epitome '. 

VII. Worlds, their Creation, Destruction, Shapes, 
and Contents. 

Epicurus passes with a perfectly abrupt transition to the considera- 
tion of the various worlds contained in the universe. He had already 
dealt with this question in § 45, and shown that there is an infinite 
number of vorlds : here he deals with their creation, their ultimate 
destruction, their shapes, and their contents. It is possible that one or 
other of the sections has been misplaced, and that they ought to be 
brought together, but the letter is so disjointed that to secure a logical 
order in it would require a very great readjustment, and it is better to 
leave the paragraphs where they are. The subject is dealt with again 
in the letter to Pythocles (§§ 88 ff.) and is treated fully in the fifth 
book of Lucretius 

The short paragraph, in which there is one considerable lacuna, 
divides itself into three sections : 

(1) In the first section (§ 72) Epicurus states that worlds were 
created out of the infinite by the aggregation of certain nuclei 
(crvcrrpo0ai), out of which worlds ' separated out ', 1. e the various parts> 
of them went to their respective places, earth sinking down to the 
centre, water lying above it, and the lighter and more fiery elements 
rising to form air and the heavenly bodies. Just as they have been 
created, so they will ultimately be dissolved into their component 
atoms, whether owing to external blows or to internal disruption. For 
a fuller and very picturesque description of the process we may com- 
pare Lucr v 432-494, and for the general idea of growth, decay, and 
destruction li. 1048-1089. 

§ 73 7 toJ*s K^o-jioos. Epicurus' conception was of an infinite series 
of worlds in different parts of space, each an ordered system of earth, 
sky, and heavenly bodies. 

ircurai' ovyKpiaif ireircpaojj.cVr]!'. ' every compound organism which has 
a limit '. Epicurus does not of course suggest that there are com- 
pound bodies without limit, but merely points the contrast the limited 
comes out of the unlimited. It is not, however, quite clear what he is 
thinking of here, but probably some aggregation of atoms which was 
not definite enough to be called a koct/xos 

8 to 4p.oioei.8ts toIs OewpoujieVois TruKf£»s iy^ovaav • Bignone translates 
' like in kind to the things which we constantly see', but the order of 
words is strongly against this, and itoki><us must go with t^ona-av, not 
with fltwpovfjLtioi*;. It will mean then ' exhibiting continuously, 
i.e. throughout its extension, a likeness in appearance to the things we 
see '. The expression is a little obscure, and it is possible that Epicurus 
is intending to exclude from his statement the bodies of the gods, 
which, though of atomic structure, were not made 'like the things 
we see '. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 73-74 


10. cn»oTpo+£>K : vague masses of matter forced by the aggregation 
of atoms and void, congressus material, Lucr 11. 1065. There may 
be the added notion that they move round in a whirl (Sivos), as in the 
old atomic motion. We may compare the modern conception of 

diroKCKpijilruf, ' separated out ', another early cosmogonical notion 
going right back to Anaximander's ' separating out of opposites ' 

1 1 Ka\ trdXiv SiaXuetrticu. irdtra an important point in the Epicurean 
physics : as all worlds (like all other compound bodies) have a begin- 
ning, so the)' are all ultimately dissolved compaie Lucr v. 235-379 

to f*£f . . TrdoxoKTa the mam causes of dissolution would be 
external blows, such as the collision with another /cocryxos and the 
gradual internal disruption due to the escape of atoms shooting off 
from the kootaos into the surrounding \oid 

13 Trdirxorra ■ there is considerable divergence of reading in the 
MSS. which seems to be due to a blot or erasure, but there is httle 
doubt that tiLo-^ovtu is right It is, however, awkward standing by 
itself, and there is much to be said for the reading of the second hand 
in II toCto wdcrx OVTa t °f which a trace may also be found in BQ's 

tuuto cry^oa. 

At the end of the section follows an interesting scholium see 
cut app Bignone takes tw ptptbv to be the four elements, but 
there seems no justification for this, and it is more natuial to under- 
stand it of the local physical pails of a world which become dislocated 
after long internal atomic \lbiation The reference m th; last clause 
is to the idea set out in Lucr v 534 ff , that the earth is sustained in 
its place by a gradual thinning out of its structure underneath, which 
acts at once as a link with the suriounding air and as a kind of 
' spring-mattress ' Von der Muchll may be right in retaining the 
words 8t}Aov ovv «>s as part of the text, supposing a lacuna after them. 

§ 74 (2) &hapt<; of the tvm ltl\ The wollds are not all of the 
same shape At this point there is a lacuna owing to the intrusion 
of a considerable scholium , see cnt app. We may conclude that 
Epicurus stated that worlds were of different shapes, yet not of all 
possible shapes, and then enumerated some of the shapes. 

2 ?x o> ' Ta s We can deduce the form of the text which was ousted 
by the scholium There must have been a verb, probably ytyovivo.i, 
after vofilfav, then the second oiWe clause, probably ovrt av ttClv (r^fta 
t^ovras Then possibly a reason for this belief and a statement of the 
shapes that are found among ki'xt/jlul as in the scholiast's quotation 
from the Xllth Book of the Ilcpl cpvo-fw; 

(3) Contents of the worlds A strange addition is made by Epicurus 
in the idea that other worlds than ours contain animals, plants, &c , such 
as we see here. The section must have begun in the lacuna, and 
Usener has suggested that it ran something as follows. <LWa pvqv ko1 
Tracri rot's koct/xois Stt vop.l£,tiv fcwa koI <f>vra xal tu \oi3ra to. Trap rjp-tv 
6t<tipov/j.€va ivtivai. 



ouW y&P 4" • • . oi« iBu^drj. Usener has most acutely seen the 
meaning of this sentence, which at first sight might seem the reverse of 
what would be expected. The emphasis lies on ku( before ovk av 
ifjLTrtpLt\r)<f>dr). * No one could prove that in one kind of worlds these 
seeds might have been included (or might not, as chance dictated) ; 
and that in another they could not have been included ', 1. e. there are 
two kinds of supposed worlds, one in which the inclusion or exclusion 
of such things was, &o to say, ' optional' and due to chance, the other 
in which they were excluded, and both kinds are contrasted with our 
world, in which they are included. It is Epicurus' general conception 
of la-ovofjLta which makes him decide that such formations are in fact 

3. {iv) is a necessary insertion, and may well have dropped out 
before /xev. 

5. (tA) is again a necessary insertion ; it dropped out after the last 
syllable of wavra. 

6. At the end of the section the MSS. have the not very illuminat- 
ing scholium Jjo-aurios St Kal ivrpa,cpyjvai. tov avrov Si rpojrov kclI €ttI 
ytjs vofiurT€ov. Von der Muchll would retain the words from Toy airov 
St, supposing them to be the beginning of a section dealing with animal 
and plant life. ( 

VIII. The Development of Civilization- and the 
Origin of Language. 

Another rather sudden transition From the consideration of the 
Koa-fjLot in general Epicurus passes to our earth and the development 
of civilization among men 

§ 75. (1) In the fiist sentence he announces his general theory 
that suriounding circumstances first compelled men to certain actions 
or that nature gave them an example these actions they subsequently 
developed by deliberate reflection leading to improvements and new 
inventions. The whole idea is elaborated at great length and with 
many examples by Lucretius (v 925—1457) : we may notice especially 
the passages in which he explains that lightning taught men the use 
of fire (1091-1104), and the action of the sun the melting and mould- 
ing of metals (1 241-1280) 

1 . uiroXTiirWo*. We may perhaps notice the less forcible word than 
the usual vopxtrriav this is not a matter of ' faith ', of immediate 
deduction from the main Epicurean principles, but a conjecture as to 
probable occurrence at the same time we may observe the regular 
Epicurean progress from tuo-ftjo-is to \oyur/j,6s. 

ri\v $6<nv . not here ' nature ' in general, but ' human nature ', and • 
so throughout this section : perhaps ' their nature ' would more exactly 
represent it . compare phrases like 17 tt)s i^x^ 5 ^v 0- " an ^ Lucretius' 
usage of natura in such places as 11. 1 7 

a. BiSax&rj^ai Tt nat &.va.>(*.a.o&\va.\. • the distinction is clear . some 

COMMENTARY. §§ 74-75 


things, e.g. the clothing of their bodies to avoid cold they were com- 
pelled to do . others, like the lighting of fire, they learnt from the 
example of natural phenomena 

3. tforepov : xai va-rtpov MSS , but it is not easy to make sense of 
Kot (perhaps Mater again', like the «al iA.drrov« below), and we may 
follow Usener in excluding it. 

5. iv iLtv Tio-l wepioSots . Ad-rrouc. A corrupt and very difficult 
clause, of which I do not think that the solution has yet been 

(1) Usener emends diro tu>v airo tov iweipav to airorofiijv awo tov arrti- 

pov and then excludes it as a gloss, probably originally part of the scho- 
lium on § 74 2 — a very arbitrary proceeding, such as Usener has taken 
m other places (cf. § 62). He then supposes a lacuna which would 
have contained something like /xci'£ous \a.p.fia.vuv Zino6o-tis, ' in certain 
epochs and at certain times it made greater progress at others again 
less '. This makes admirable sense, and is indeed what one would 
expect Epicurus to say, but the text can hardly be treated with such 

(2) Bignonc would retain the words A-n-o ru>v diro rov dn-eipov, and 
with great ingenuity compares K. A xni rwv avwBev viroirrw KaOeo-rvt- 

tuiv Kai Ttov v7ro yrfi Kai airXuiv rwv iv Tui a-nrtipui to iv T<2 wirtiptp, he 
argues, were the chief cause of fear in the early history of man, and 
one of the main maiks of progress would be liberation from them 
He would therefore suppose the sentence to have run eV piv t«ti 
ircptoSois Kai xpoi'ots diro t£>v ixtto tov airclpov (<f>6fiaiv yu<i'£avs iraftao-Kcva- 
IcaSai Xvo-w:), iv 8c t«tI rai cXarrovis, ' and that in certain epochs and 
at certain times it provided greater liberation from the fears resulting 
from the infinite, at others again less'. But (i) the suggestion is 
grammatically improbable : (a) K A. xn to 4>o(Zovp.evov \v€t.v shows 
that Epicurus would have written -rtuv <£o/?cuv A.vaeis and not d-n-o iw 
fpofiwv, (<5) it would surely have been tZv «V tov a-rrtlpov 4>6(3<nv, 
(r) could one speak of a peilw or iXarruiv Xvo-is? (2) The early part 
of this section is meant to lead up to the discussion of language, and 
it is improbable that Epicurus would have introduced a reference to 
superstitious fears which, however important, are irrelevant. 

I think the sense must have been something simple on Usener's 
lines, but I do not jet see how to deal with the words d™ twv diro tov 
a-Trtlpov, which seem to be quite genuine. 

(2) The origin of language In the second part of the section 
Epicurus passes to the particular question of the origin of language. 
His theory is subtle and carefully worked out and should be noted 
particularly, as later Epicurean tradition, especially as represented 111 
Lucretius "(v. 1028-1090), only imperfectly preserved it. (Giussam's 
essay, vol. 1, pp. 267-284, is very llluminatrng and important.) There 
was always a question in antiquity whether language originated <j>va-ei 
or Bio-ii. Epicurus' answer is twofold. Approaching the question as 
a problem in the actual history of primitive man, he maintains that 



language in its earliest stage was developed <f>vcrti : it was a natural 
emission of sounds corresponding to emotions and impressions received. 
Later, in the stage that corresponds to that of \oyurp6<; above, it was 
regulated, developed, and extended deliberately (0«r«). Lastly, as 
new things and new ideas were introduced, names were found for 
them partly by natural imitation or suggestion, partly by deliberate 
invention or analogy. His speculation is singularly acute and should 
be reckoned among his best contributions to anthropology — a subject 
on which Epicureanism was notably successful in its conjectures. 

7. if dpx*)« (**| 06rei . closely and emphatically together , 'in origin 
names were not deliberately imposed '. 

8. ko9* ?Kcnrra if8n) . . 4>a»r(icrpaTa : this curious idea that the 
emotions and impressions of different races were actually different is 
a weakness in Epicurus' theory, but is to be accounted for, as we have 
seen, by his conception of the brevity of the whole process 

9. t&k i4pa inTrifiirtiv . for the physical process of the uttering ot 
sounds, from which Epicurus derives this very literal expression, cf. 
§§ 52. 53- 

1 o. OTeXX^peKOK, ' formed ', ' shaped ' , cf, vxnuarO^a-Bai ln tne 
parallel context, § 53. 

12. eiT| of the MSS may be retained, as it might be on each occa- 
sion, though Usener's jj would produce a more normal construction 
after oi? dv. 

§ 76 1. Koifws, ' by common action', or almost ' common consent ', 
a very strong expression of the deliberate nature of the process of the 
second stage. 

3. &\\^\ols, oXXr/Xais MSS : a very good correction of Meibom. 

ofl ouropupera TrpdvjiaTa, ' things previously unseen ', 1 e. those 
either introduced from foreign tribes or invented for the first tune. 
Surely not ' tried to introduce the notion of things not visible ' 

5. -rods 0"^) AvayK-aoQivrat dya^wkijaai, ' being constrained by 
necessity to utter some of the sounds '. The MSS have rois alone, 
which Usener omits taking dvayKao-fleVras avatfxavrja-ai with the whole 
clause, and assuming that here again dvdyKrj was always the cause In 
that case it must apply also to the second clause tovs Si t<3 Aoyioyxui 
iXo/i«vovs, and if so, it would be better, as Giussani points out, to 
adopt Schneider's conjecture iirofiivov? : there was a necessity even in 
obeying the dictates of reason I greatly prefer, however, as does 
Bignone, to follow Schneider here in inserting fxiv. In the introduc- 
tion of new words at this stage both the causes avdyicr) (or <f>va-it) and 
6t<ris work side by side e.g. when a foreign thing was brought in, 
ivdyxr] would compel the imitation of its foreign name, when a new 
thing was invented, it would be given a new name &4<jct. 

6. toOs 8i . . . <XojWkous . . oStws ippTjKeucrai : as so often in 
Epicurus (e g. § 71. 9) the construction breaks off into a main clause, 
' and some names they chose by reasoning and thus expressed their 

COMMENTARY. §§ 75-76 


meaning '. Bignone, anxious to preserve the exact parallelism, 
would construct ipixrprtixrai after alrlav this is doubtful Greek, 
and it would be better, if strict syntax is required, to read (rot) 
ovTwt 2ppLr)vev<Tai but Epicurus' laxness in these matters makes it 

kotA ttjk irXeioTTH' aiTiai" : cf Kara ttjv irXtL(m]v 6/JLiXCav, § 6 1 ]. 2, and 
koto, rrjv Tr\tump> tfropav, § 70. 3, ' in accordance with the usual cause ', 
i.e the usual method of formation in such cases, sc. normally analogy. 
I agree with Giussam and Bignone that there is no reason to suppose 
with Usener that aWlav is corrupt • the suggestion in his note, <j>a.vra- 
o-iav, is quite unnecessary 

X Celestial Phenomena 

Epicurus passes from the earth and its inhabitants to a new 
department of inquiry There is in this letter no full exposition of 
the nature or causes of celestial phenomena, as there is in the letter to 
Pythocles, but only a careful and elaborate precaution against the 
theological view of their creation and government, and a statement of 
the attitude which the true Epicurean should take up and the lines 
of study which he should pursue 

(1) In the first section (§§ 76, 77) he protests against two distinct 
forms of the belief in the divine character of celestial phenomena We 
must not believe either that the motions of the heavenly bodies are 
controlled by any divine being (for that is inconsistent with our belief 
in the untroubled blessedness of the divine nature), nor again must we 
suppose that the heavenly bodies are themselves divine, for they are 
merely material atomic conglomerations We must be careful not to 
derogate from our idea of the majesty of the divine nature. All is, 
on the contrary, due to regular atomic motion proceeding directly 
from the development of the original congeries into a world For 
the general idea we may compiare Lucretius v. 78-90 

8 (ko.1 t))v) a necessary addition of Usener's, vouched for by the 
opening of almost every section of the letter 

iv tois fxcTf upoi.9 • to. fierewpa are for Epicurus celestial phenomena 
in general, including besides the action of the heavenly bodies also the 
phenomena of weather. 

4>opav the normal course of the heavenly bodies in the sky com- 
pare Ep. ii, § 92, and Lucr v 509-533. 

Tpo-ir^K . regularly used of the ' turning ' of the course of the sun at 
the tropics (rpoirat) compare Ep 11, § 93, and Lucr. v. 614-649 • 
here also probably of other heavenly bodies as well 

9 ck\€ii|hp the 'eclipses' of sun and moon cf Ep. 11, § 96, and 
Lucr. v. 751-770. 

dyaToXr)!' koi Suatv cf Ep. 11, § 92, and Lucr. v 650—655 
T& owtoixo toutois. ' questions in the same category as these ', such, 
for mstance, as the origin of the moon's light, the equinoxes, the size 



of sun and moon, which are dealt with m the parallel passages of the 
second Epistle and Lucretius v. 

xo. \«iToupyouKTos tik<Js ' the first of the false explanations of popu- 
lar mythology, that the movements of the heavenly bodies are con- 
trolled by some divine being, who either has ordered them once for all 
or continues to do so. 

II. BioTdJarros . the majority of the MSS read the fut. participle 
SiaToiovros, which Usener has placed in his text. But the distinction 
must be between the two ideas about the Supreme Being, (i) that 
he continues to control the revolutions, &c, of the heavenly bodies, 
(a) that at the Creation he set them once for all on a course which 
they then pursue automatically We should therefore adopt the aonst 
participle from GHZ 

§ 77. r ou yap <rup.$a>vova-iv . . . the idea of such labours is incon- 
sistent with the life of tranquillity which we attribute to the gods and 
regard as an essential in the conception of blessedness : compare 
Kvpuu Aofcu i. Lucretius argues in the same way v. 82 ff. 

3. fi^Te ou irup apa ovtcl <ruvt<rrpa\iplvov . ; the second of the false 
explanations, that the heavenly bodies are themselves divine beings, 
who voluntarily take upon themselves these recurrent motions. The 
MSS here show signs of corruption, but there seems no reason for 
abandoning the text to which they point -n-vp <xpa. ovre a-uvtcrrpafj.iJ.tvov, 
' as they are only aggregations of fire '. Usener, following up a sug- 
gestion of M. CasaulxDn, emends very ingeniously to irupos avdp.ij.aTa 
o~vvtcnpap.pJ.vov, ' rekindhngs of fire gathered together in allusion to 
Heraclitus' famous theory of the 17X1011 avappa, that the sun was 
extinguished every night and rekindled in the morning by a fresh 
gathering of fire This is quite gratuitous and indeed improbable, as 
Epicurus did not regard Heraclitus' theory with much favour and 
is therefore not likely to have placed it here ab his only statement 
of the nature of the heavenly bodies. Moreover, crvvto-rpappivov is a 
clear reference to the o-vcrrpotpai at the creation of the world to which 
he refers below, 1. 7 

5. kotA pouXTiorif, ' of their deliberate choice ' 

6. to aipvwpa . the idea of divine majest3' (in perfect tranquillity and 
blessedness) which we attribute to the divine beings. 

KttiA naWa &v6y.ara ^rpuptya sc not only the titles and epithets 
which we apply to the divine beings, but also in all statements which 
we make about them. Both the ideas stated above are really a 
degradation of the idea of the divine majesty, because they attribute 
irpaypxiTtia to the divine beings. The tptpoptva of the MSS. makes 
quite good sense, and there is no need to follow Usener in reading 

<f>tpoptvov with>pa. 

tcLs toioiStos ifi-oios • 1. e. the conceptions of tranquillity, peace, 
blessedness, absence of care, &c , which we attribute to the gods. 

7. Iva fMj8' . it seems necessary to adopt this emendation of Usener' s 
for the MS. iav p.r-8. It is true that Epicurus likes putting an important 

COMMENTARY. §§ 77-78 

point in a subordinate conditional clause (cf. § 62. 5 tl fir/ i<f>' iva . . ), 
but we can hardly take it so here : we must keep the idea of <rc'/j.v(D/u.a 
pure, in order that our opinions may not be contradictory, iav /tijfiiv 
inrcvdvTiov . . . 8d£p, Meibom's conjecture, which is adopted by von 
der Muehll, seems an unnecessarily large departure from the tradition. 
ycVukrai another necessary addition ; the clause must have a verb 
8. tl Be (j,T|, ' otherwise', ' if we do not preserve the <Ttfivo>/j.a\ 
rbv niyunQv -nipaxoK compare a striking parallel to the general 
idea in Lucr. vi. 68-78. 

10 icard once again has become koi in the MSS. 
t&s it ipx^s iVairoX^+ets ™» aucrrpcwfcwi' : a slightly different idea ot 
the <rv<rrpo4>a( to that in § 73. 10 There they are the great agglomera- 
tions, each of which ultimately resolves itself into a world, here 
smaller agglomerations ' caught up ' within the larger one, and ulti- 
mately forming into sun, moon, or star. 

1 1. tV &v&yKi)v Taurr)f kcu ireptoSof should be taken closely together, 
almost as a hendiadys, ' this necessary re\olution ', so ' the law of their 
revolution '. 

§78 (2) Human knowledge and happiness ~b picurus turns from 
the divine aspect to the human aspect Just as u is an insult to the 
divine majesty of the gods to attribute to them the control of the affairs 
of the world, since it would be a disturbance lo their eternal repose, 
SO an accurate knowledge about the nature of these things is an 
essential for human happiness, as it removes those fears which arise 
as long as we believe celestial phenomena to be due to the arbitrary 
action of diwne powers Moreover, in the acquisition of this know- 
ledge lies man's greatest happiness. But this is only true of the first 
essentials and the ultimate natuie of things celestial. The details of 
celestial phenomena, the causes of risings and settings, eclipses, &c , 
cannot in themselves remove our fears nay, by the awe which they 
arouse, they may even increase them. Such knowledge in itself con- 
tributes nothing to human happiness, though in combination with the 
knowledge of the essentials it may go to increase it In such par- 
ticulars then we must not be disappointed if we are not able to fix on 
some one cause as the sole cause the phenomena may be produced 
in several ways, or we may not be able to say for certain which of 
several causes is the one which operates in our world But as regards 
the ultimate nature of ra /xeWwpci we must be certain. The introduc- 
tory paragraphs of the second letter should be compared, and the 
whole of Lucretius' astronomical section (v. 509-770) affords constant 
illustrations of the principles. 

1 (t6) . again a necessary addition of Usener the article with the 
infinitive seems specially liable to be lost, cf §§ 47 a 3, 57 jo. 

•riSf KupiuTciruk, ' the essential facts ', 1. e. the comprehension of the 
divine nature and the knowledge that celestial phenomena are not 
produced by it. Cf. § 35. 6, where the word is used in a broader sense 

2. <j>ucrio\oyi'as, ' the science of <j>vcrtis ', of the underlying structure 


and character of things : compare Lucretius' rerum nafura. It is con- 
trasted here with lo-roplq. (§ 79. 2), the inquiry into details of special 

to poKAfHoy . of course here ' human happiness ' : compare below, 
§ 80 2 to . . fMKa.pi.ov rjfuliv. The peace ofmmd (dTapa£u>.) which arises 
from the comprehension of the fundamental principles given to man, 
the nearest approach to the blessed life of the gods. 

3. iv Tfj irepl /leTtwpw yvdjoti ; there seems no reason to follow 
Usener in exclnding these words as a gloss. 

ivrauQa : Usener's suggestion that (rf) should be added seems 
unnecessary koI cv tu . . . is appended as an afterthought. 

4 rifts: the Tivas of the MSS. is a mere mistake. 

5. auyyevf\ -nobs tV els touto AKpiBeiaf, ' have an affinity to accurate 
knowledge for this purpose', i.e. to the knowledge requisite for human 
happiness (toIto is to /xaKa/Hov, as Usener points out in his note) 
o-vyyevrj is quite natural and Usener's alteration to owciwi gratuitous 
so Bignone. 

t6 -n-XcovaxCis, ' that which may happen in several ways', e. g as 
Epicurus believes, eclipses or the waxing and waning of the moon ; 
see Lucr. v. 705 ff., 751 ff. 

6. iv toIs Toiou-rots : sc. the knowledge of the ultimate nature of 
celestial things, in which alternative causes have no place : there is here 
one final certainty. 

t6 lv%t\(>p.tvov koX aXXus ira>s ?x €1,, j 'that which can happen some- 
times in one way, sometimes in another', e.g thunder and lightning, 
see Lucr. vi 96 ff Bignone retains the reading of the majority of the 
MSS to fv8txo/j.eVcjs as parallel to to 7rA(oyax<os, but it seems an 
almost impossible formation 

8. twc . . . urroflaXXoViw, ' things which suggest uncertainty as to 
their real cause, or alarm because we do not understand their cause ', 
i.e. phenomena of which there may be several explanations 

9. nctl touto dirXus etfai, ' of this {sc the nature of the celestial 
bodies and their independence of the gods) we can know that it is 
absolutely', i.e. when we have worked on atomic principles to the 
right explanation we can be perfectly certain of it 

§ 79. Epicurus now turns to the other side of the picture The 
knowledge of detailed causes is not necessary for happiness, and 
indeed it may even increase our fears, unless ve are acquainted with 
the ultimate nature of the heavenly bodies and the true causes of their 

1. to 8' iv Tfj laropLo. irem-uKos : Irrropta is the detailed investigation 
of particular causes as contrasted with ^>vo-toAoyt'a, which is the know- 
ledge of the ultimate principles The genitives -nji Svo-cws, &c, are 
connected with io-ropuf.. 

3. irpos to fian&piov -rijs yycioreus, ' for the blessedness which know- 
ledge confers ', a possessive genitive, a favourite device of Epicurus', 
as Bignone points out, Usener unnecessarily alters to tcis yvwo-ns, 

COMMENTARY. §§ 78-80 253 
which he then takes with rrp Overtax, &c., leaving to h> tjJ Itrroptq. 


4. dXV ifiotus . . -irpcHrr'Seuxav toCto : as Bignone notes, Epicurus 
is probably thinking here of astrologers and other superstitious persons 
who, although they have observed the detailed movements of the 
heavenly bodies and may know something of their immediate causes, 
yet postulate a divine agency behind all and regard celestial pheno- 
mena as an indication of the divine will 

A)j.oiu>s goes with Kal ct fj.r] 7rpooTj8eiorav raOra, ' JUSt aS much as if 

they had not learnt these things '. 

5. HdTiSoKTOKj, ' when they have perceived them ' • Epicurus regards 
the knowledge of the detailed causes of celestial phenomena as a 
matter of observation ralher than of reasoning. It is quite unneces- 
sary to alter with Usener to Karetfioras 

7. irXcious sc <£o/3ous ix tlv 

9. otKOfOfiiaf, 'ordering', 'regulation' a curiously personal word 
for Epicurus to use, when he is so carefully disclaiming personal 

816 W) k&v ir\e£ous . cupitrKUfiEv . we must accept Usener's correc- 
tion for the *fcti . . evpL(rK<>fj.£v of the MSS In many such ca<-es of 
detail Epicurus piopounds several causes which are not contradicted 
by the evidence of the senses without deciding between them (see the 
second letter and Luci v 509-770 passim) We must here be con- 
tent with such uncertain knowledge, and U is all that is required for 
our happiness 

10. -r£if ToiouTOTpoirui- an ingenious conection of Meibom's for ru>v 
tolovtu>v TpoTTwv (or TpoTrwv) of tlie W SS. TjMTTmv could hardly be used 
in the sense of ' occurrences ', and the corruption is probably due to 
the neighbourhood of rpoTrGiv. 

1 1. uenrep ica! iv -rots Kara p.lpo;'ois Tjf 1 e in such investiga- 
tions as aie contained in the letter to P} thocles, which would be fami- 
liar to the more advanced disciples for whom the present letter was 
written, j/v again seems a necessary correction of the MS y or j) 

§ 8O i. xf> £l ' a>, j 'investigation', 'inquiry' 

3 <5<rre Trapa6cupourras . A practical conclusion The right 
method of procedure in inquiring into the details of celestial pheno- 
mena is by the analogy of things within our experience on earth. We 
must investigate kindred phenomena there, and consider in how many 
different ways they might be produced, and then apply our conclusions 
to the heavenly bodies, which owing to their distance from us we never 
can investigate closely. And even though we think that one explana- 
tion is the right one, we must be prepared to recognize that there may 
be others, and not allow the discovery to disturb our peace of mind. 
This is a typically Epicurean conclusion, and a good instance might 
be found in Epicurus' theory of eclipses (Ep ad Pyth , § 96, Lucr. 
v 751 ff.). We consider in how many different ways the light on earth 
may be obscured. Then, though we think that the cause of the sun's 



eclipse is the passing of the moon between earth and sun, we are yet 
prepared to admit that it may be that some other body intervenes or 
that the sun's fires are temporarily damped. 

irapaOcupourras : probably ' considering in companson with ' celestial 

5. irarrds tou dSWjXou : 0877X0 to Epicurus fell under two categories, 
phenomena like the celestial which are too far off for us to investigate, 
and those like the atoms and the atomic structure of things, which are 
below the ken of our senses. In both these cases we should reason 
from our experience of earthly things 

twk outc . . drapaKTrjo-ai • sc. ordinary unphilosophic persons who 
do not investigate at all or distinguish between different classes of 
knowledge or realize the importance of their distinction. 

oOrt (t6), Gassendi's correction of the MS. ofiSe, which is practically 
demanded by the corresponding ovrt to. 

7. (4m t£>v)t$)v . TrapaBi&inw. I have adopted with some hesita- 
tion Bignone s correction of the clause, ' in the case of things which 
provide an impression of themselves from a distance', i.e the first 
class of aSr)Xa, the celestial phenomena to which we can never get 
near enough to obtain an ivdpyrffia. Usener reads ttjv r . . . irapiSov- 
Ttuv, ' but neglect the impression made on us by phenomena at a 
distance' (Hicks), i.e. presumably, base their belief on irpoo-8o£a£o/xtva 
instead of considering the evidence of sensation, but the expression is 
forced, and his main point here is that m considering the heavenly 
bodies we cannot get sufficient evidence from the senses. I think it 
would, as a third couise, be just possible to accept Usener's r^v t and 
retain irapaStSovrtov, 'but are content to hand on the traditional 
account based on the appearance of phenomena from a distance ' ; 
a description of the ordinary conventional man who is content with 
the first-sight appearance of celestial phenomena without reasoning by 
analogy and would be satisfied, e g. to say that the sun passes round 
the earth without considering Herachtus' theory -that it is lit up afresh 
every day. But Bignone's restoration seems to bring the sentence 
nearer to Epicurus' general phraseology and to the particular drift of 
this passage. 

9. Kal <!>$£ ir<iis, ' in some such way as this ' . if, that is, we think 
that we have reached an approximate explanation which is. right, we 
must still be prepared to admit that there may be several explanations 
and must not be upset by that conclusion. 

Kal 0101s 6/jloius ioTii' drapaicrtja-iu, ' and that in circumstances 
where we may be equally at peace in mind ', even if there are several 
explanations, i.e. in the consideration of the detailed causes of celes- 
tial phenomena. Usener omits both kcu and eortv, which is only the 
reading of GH . c'otiV seems necessary to the construction, and I think 
Kal may be retained. Bignone would read kcu (t^tir) on the analogy 
of to /j.ovaxu>s ix ov V ywo/iarov, 1. 5, which may be the right solution. 

TO airb t6 8tl TTXeovax&s . dTapa.KTricrop.ey . sc. our recognition 

COMMENTARY. §§ 8o-8t 


of the possible plurality of causes will not disturb our peace any more 
than if we knew that there was one approximate cause. 

(3) The causes of men's fears At the end of this long discussion of 
to /irrt'copa Epicurus swings round to the practical moral conclusion. 
The two chief causes of mental disturbance, the opposite of the ideal 
arapa^ia, are firstly this belief that the heavenly bodies are divine 
beings, performing actions quite contrary to the divine nature, and 
secondly the fear of death, whether it be of punishment in another life, 
or of the annihilation of sensation as something felt by ' us '. Peace 
of mind, on the other hand, consists in the release from these fears. 
The argument of the whole section is quite straightforward, and is 
repeated in many passages by Lucretius , compare especially i. 80- 
135, 111 41-93. v 1 194-1240. 

§ 81 2 Tdpaxos Usener suggests the insertion of to balance 
rj Si aTapa&a. below, § 82. i, but that clause may well be an after- 

3. tclutci r<r the heavenly bodies, of which he has been speaking 
in the preceding sections Von der Muehll's ralrd is ingenious but 
hardly necessary. 

Soji^eif Usener's addition {ttvai) seems unnecessary . it can be 
supplied in thought. 

4 Toirrois sc. to fj,aKaptof Kal i<f>6a.prov, easily extracted from 
the previous clause Usener's ' correction ' toi'tw is no improve- 

5 at-rias- here ' motives', 1 e anger and favour compare § 77. 1 ff. 
&ti for «<u, a good correction of Usener's 

6. e'Tt nal au-rV . hot* ao-rous a new point Some men do not 
fear punishment in another life, but fear the annihilation of sensation 
as though it were something that would affect 'them', but, as 
Epicurus would say, when the soul has once left the body and 
dissolved, 'Lhey', who are a combination of soul and body, no longer 
exist compare Lucr 111 838—842 and 870-893 koi avrr)v is a good 
correction of Casaubon's for *ar« ravrrfv the constant confusion of 
Kara and Kat occurs again in the MSS ]ust below, I. 7 

8. 8o$cus as the result of an inference of opinion from phenomena: 
cf the constant use of &o£aZ,(iv and Trpocr8o£d£(iv. 

dX&yw yi nvi irapatrrdo-ei., 'an unreasoning presentation of a picture 
to the mind ', ' imagination ' not even grounded on an inference, how- 
ever false, from phenomena Hicks translates 'an irrational perver- 
sity', but is there evidence for Trapaorao-i? m this sense? 

9. fif) 6p£[oiTas, 'not limiting', 1 e. not knowing the limits of pain, 
which in the Epicurean system are set by the right comprehension of 
■what man needs and the limits of his suffering, and the knowledge 
that the gods do not intervene in the i\orld and that death is nothing 
to us 

10. u>s el Kal iS^aior TaGra constructed in sense after ia~rjv. With 
some hesitation I propose the substitution of is for MS. tS> (or to). 


Usener, keeping t$, proposes the much more violent change, 
elKtuajs So£d£ovTt Tavra : but Epicurus would not have admitted that 
any one held these opinions cfcai'ws. Hicks's translation ' than if we 
held these beliefs ' seems to imply is or rj tgj would give this sense 
too, but is very harsh. 

§ 82. 2. ri . I can see no reason for following Usener in his 
alteration to tw, with which presumably iv is to be supplied from the 
construction of" the previous sentence : ' peace of mind ts freedom from 
these fears and the recollection of the main principles ' 

(4) Trust tn the senses. As the conclusion of the whole discussion 
which started from the consideration of celestial phenomena, Epicurus 
comes back to the position which he enunciated at the beginning of 
the letter. The only safe principle in life is always to trust to the 
direct evidence of our external sensations and our internal feelings. 
Inference from them (Sofa) may be false, and may lead, as he has 
shown, to conclusions which greatly militate against our peace of 
mind ; but the sensations are always true This is the ultimate basis 
of the whole Epicurean system, physical and moral, and forms a fitting 
conclusion to the argument of the letter 

4. iriOeo-i : all the MSS. have the curious mistake 71-ao-i. 

toIs irapoucri, ' those present to us ', so ' immediate ' . see § 38. 5 
tcis Trapovcras c7ri/?oA.ds. 

5. ica-rd uev to Koivbv . . Tais iBiais Bignone has shown the meaning 
of this. We must trust the common sensations ot mankind (Lucretius' 
communis sensus) when we are considering common experiences or 
wish to correct individual experiences of our own, which are due to the 
particular state of our organism (e g. ■when fever warps our taste). 
We must, on the other hand, trust our individual sensations when we 
are considering matters on which we can pronounce judgement, 
e. g. our own feelings of pleasure or pain. K A. xxxvi affords an 
interesting example, where Epicurus distinguishes to SUaiov which is 
kooiov to all mankind, from that which is IStov to particular nations or 

6 Ka8' JKaoTor tG>v Kprrrjpibii' : sc the senses and feelings, the 
7rpdA.7ji/ris or general concept, and possibly also the en-i/JoAij -rijs Stavotas, 
which combines perceptions and concepts into ideas which have 
validity in the region of the aSr/Xa. 

7. ifap-ycia . the 'clear vision' or ' intuition ', as usual 

9. AiroXucropti' probably goes not with to oOev o Tapaxos • but 
with 00-a <j>o/3ti rovs Aourotis avOpunrovs. 

10. w del irape|xmnT<SfTwi', 'things that occur casually from time 
to time', i.e. sporadic as opposed to normal recurring phenomena. 

Conclusion. The last paragraph of the letter returns to the ideas of 
the exordium. The advanced student, absorbed in the examination 
of details, must have a careful statement of the general principles 
always in his mind, to which he may constantly refer. This was the 
primary purpose of the present treatise, but it will also, as Epicurus 

COMMENTARY. §§ 82-83 


adds at the end, enable even those who cannot enter into details to 
obtain a ' bird's-eye view', which will be sufficient to secure their peace 
of mind {ya\.rjvurfjuk). The language of this secuon should all through 
be compared with that of the exordium. The general drift is clear, 
but the text in several places uncertain. 

11. KccftaXcuuSfo-raTa is apparently an adverb going with tirtrtrfxt]- 
fitva, but there is a strong temptation to read (i-a) K«£aA.aiu>8c'crTaTa, 
' the most important heads ', which would give a better sense. 

12. Tur o\w, 'the general principles' or 'the system as a whole '. 
Cf. § 36. IO Ttfs a~wt)(ovs twv oAu>v TrepioSetas. 

§ 88 I. &otc 6lv Y^yotTO outos 6 \6yos ou«xtos KaTaaxcOrji'ai, ' SO that 
this account would be able to be comprehended'. The MSS. have 
KO.Tt<r\i&r], except that H writes KaTaerxe'&J, which suggests Karaax^V va >- 
as the obvious correction with this change the MS text can be kept. 
Usener, followed apparently by Bignone, places a full stop at iwiTrTfirj- 
fitva, changes dv ytvoiro to ihv ytvrp-ai, adopts Swa/ros outos 6 Xdyos 
from F, Ka.Tajvxt$*i<; from Gassendi, and places a comma at dK/»/3eia«, 
' so that, if this account becomes effective, being grasped accurately, 
I think . . .' This seems quite unnecessary, and the participle is a 
much less likely emendation of Ka.T€<rxi6r} than the infinitive. 

2. : a lapse into a rather more colloquial style quite consistent 
with the turn to the personal address to Herodotus 

3 dxpiBuixd-ruy : compare § 36 6 toC 7ravTos dxpt/Jul^taTos 

4 dcnj(ipAi]Toi', ' incomparable ', going closely with -rrpos tov<s \017rovs 
di-0pco7rovs The man who knows the main principles will be in a far 
superior position as regards the fears which attack men There is, 
I think, no reference to the ia-tpakua e'£ d^puraw of K. A xtn 
and xiv 

d8p<STT)TO, ' ripeness ', ' strength ' a Homeric word which reappears 
m later Greek as a technical term of rhetoric 

5 Ka0ap<£, 'free from difficulties', 'clear', an unusual word for 

6. KaTa T^v o\r\v TrpayixaTEiaf compare tov tvttov rr/s o\ijs irpa.yp.a- 
Teui<;, § 35. 8. 

7 Soi)8i]<7Ei • compare PorjOtiv olvtois Svvwvrai, § 35 6 

8. (koi Td) . again lost by ' haplography ' before KaTa 

9. ticafus 1) Kol TtKeius, ' sufficiently for practical purposes or even 
with scientific completeness '. 

10. cmBoXrfs . again in the semi-technical sense in which it appears 
in the exordium . ' acts of apprehension ', so ' survey ', almost ' princi- 
ples *. Cf. § 36. 3 if KvpuoTwrq «iri/3o\iy 

tuiv lrcpiooeiuf . cf ttJs avvexow twv u\u>v irepioSeias, § 36 IO 

11. 60-01 8 e ' . Epicurus reverts to the thought of ]. 3 even those 
who are not intending to go into the full details of the system can use 
it as an epitome to give them the general ideas, and so to secure their 
peace of mind. 

tw diroTc\otip.tWf, 'those who are being perfected', i.e. those who 

*»« R 



work through the whole Epicurean system and so attain perfection. 
A word which would suggest initiation. 

1 2. «lo\r ol, ' some ', picking up and limiting Saou This seems the 
obvious correction of the MS. ciorv though its sense is not very 
convincing. Usener conjectures l/tavijv (ic = k) taking it with irpos 
yaXrfvia-fuov : the sense would be good, but it seems a rather violent 
correction. Bignone reads 0017 87 7, 'a hasty view m so far as it can 
be obtained by the method without oral instruction ' : again a rather 
violent change. 

Ka-rA t6i- &vtu QOiyywv Tfxtiroi' apparently ' by instruction and not 
orally ', for most of the disciples learnt the doctrine from the Master 
in person. But it is a curious phrase, and there may be some corrup- 
tion : you would expect him to say ' by the method without details '- 

1 3. afia po^pim, ' quick as thought ', ' hasty '. Here in an even 
more untechnical sense than when he applies it to atomic movement 
jfl § 61. 8. 

irpds ya\rfvi(rii6r, ' for peace of mind ' (impa^ia), which was the 
aim of the Epicurean, and to which the knowledge of the principles of 
<f>v<rio\oyCa contributed the greatest part : cf. § 37 3 /AaXwrra iyyakrjvC- 
£<iiv t<2 /3(u>. 


On the meaning of eVtySoX^ rrjs Stai/otas. 

Of all the technical terms of the Epicurean philosophy none is 
nearly so obscure and elusive as fn-i/JoAi/ rijs Stavotas. We are con- 
fronted with it or its equivalent five 1 times in the Letter to Herodotus 
and once * in the Kvptat Ao£ai ; Diogenes 8 further tells us that the 
' Epicureans ' added it to Epicurus' three criteria of truth : yet each 
fresh context seems at first only to shed further obscurity on its 
meaning. Nor can it be said that modern critics and historians of 
philosophy have for the most part assisted much towards its elucida- 
tion finding it in a prominent place in the Epicurean philosophy they 
have felt bound to give some equivalent for it, but most of them have 
been content to make wild guesses * without, as it seems, any careful 
■consideration of the contexts in which it occurs: yet the very diver- 
gence of these guesses shows how little the phrase conveys a direct 
indication of its meaning. Only two 6 scholars, so far as I know, have 
made a really critical study of the subject, Tohte 6 and Giussani, 7 and 
they again differ widely in their conclusions. I should be loth to enter 
the discussion, but that I feel bound to justify the views assumed in 
the translation and commentary, and also believe that something may 
yet be said, which may help towards a solution. 

It will be convenient, before entenng the details of the discussion, 
to give in full the passages of Epicurus dealing with the subject, which 
wjll frequently be required for reference, and to state summarily the 
conclusions at which this note will arrive. 

1 55 38, 5°. 51 (twice), 62. * xxiv. ' x 31 (Vtt.). 

4 We may instance Zeller, ' sensible impression ', Uberweg, ' intuitive apprehen- 
sion of the understanding 1 (which is nearer to part of the right idea than most 
conjectures) , Ritter and Preller, ' a form of trpoXij^is not differing from images seen 
In delirium or sleep ' ; bteinhart, ' the free activity of the imagination ' 

5 Bneger's contribution (Lchrc von dtr Seele, pp 19, 30) is so vague and 
uncritical that it does not really come into question, though, as will be seen, he 
has grasped one essential part of the full meaning F Merbach {De Epicun 
Canontca,^. 28-35) nas some interesting pages on the subject, in which he agrees 
in the main with Tohte, but does not touch the crucial difficulty of $ 62 of the Letter 
to Herodotus 

8 Efikurs KrUenen der Wahrhtit, pp. 20-24 
7 Lucretius, vol. 1, pp. 171-181. 

R 2 



I. Letter to Herodotus : 


A. § 38 cti T€ 1 Kara raj aur&jcreis Set u-aVra rqptiv ko.1 iirA.<o? 
(icora) Tas 7rapovcras &ri/3oAas t'rt Siavoiai tiff otov Ufa-art tJv Kpvrt)- 
pliDV, o/ioiun 8i Kara. Tot vTrdpxovra Tra&q, ontin av Kal to npoafUvov Kal 
to aoS^Aov t^ui/xev ots crrjfituocrofnOa. 

B. § 50 ical i)v av \af3to/i*v tpavraxriav e7ri/3Xirn.Ku>S TjJ 8iavoux ^ toIs 
altr&rjTriploK tin poptprjs tlrt o-DjuySt/JiyxoYtov, ftoptprj icrrtv avrrj tov 
artptpvlov, ytvopityr] koto, to i&j 1 : ttvkvw/mi rj eyKardXeififia tov et&iAov. 

C. § 5 1 tc yap 6/AO16V17S r&v <pavraxrp.tov otov ti 1 eucovi Aa/i/Javo- 
fMVw ^ Ka(5' v7i-vovs yivo/£t'v<ov 1) (car' aXXas Tivas i7ri/?oXas ttjs Siavoias 
1} t£jv Aoittcov Kpinjpttov ovk av TTOTt virrjpxt toIs ovo-i Tc Kal aXij^eo-i 
irpatrayoptvouxvovi, 11 p-TJ t|v riva Kal Toiavra TrpocrfiaWopcva. 

D. § 51 (immediately following the preceding) to Si Snjp.aprr]p4vov 
ovk Av VTnjp^tv, ci p-i) i\ap, Kal aWyy Tiva. Kivrjcriv iv ff/xlv avrols 
0-wrjp.p.tvrfv p.iv (rj? tpavraariKy ifl-i/SoAj/), 1 oioAtji^iv Si t\ovo~a.v. 

E. § 6a eVtl to yt tftiopovp-tvov imp *ar' tirc/9oA-^v hap.(3a.v6p.evov 
TJJ Siavoia a.\f)dts tcrnv. 

II. Kvptai Ao£ai XXIV « tiv 1 tK/JaXcIs cbrXios aTo"07j<rt.v Kal /at; SiatpjJ- 
0"€is to 8o£a£o/xevov Kara 1 To Trpocrp-tvov Kal to itapbv 17877 Kara, tijv 
a"a6rjcnv Kal ra irddr] ko! iracrav <pavTaa~TLKr]v iiriJ3o\r)v tj/s Stavoias, 
o-wrapdfctis *al Tas Aoi7ras aurOya-eis rjj /xarai'u) So£*7, (Lcrre to KpiTrjpiov 
airav fV/ffaAcTs. 

To these passages of Epicurus must be added two others of great 
importance : 

Diog. Laert. X. 31 iv tolvvv ro> Kavovi Acyuv cotiv 6 'Etti'koudos 
Kpvrqpia T77S aXTjfiias tlvat Tas a.lo-6j)<rti<i Kal irpoXij^/eis Kal ra irddrf 
oi b" "EwiKovpeiOi koli Tas <^>airao-riKas ciri/3oXas rijs Siavoi'as. 

Clem. Alex. Strom 11. 4, p. 157 (Usener,_/r 255) Trp6\rj\piv hi oto- 
StSaicrtv hrtfioX-qv Ctrl Tt evapyes Kal eirl rijv ivapytf tov wpay/xoTos 

Briefly put, the line of argument which I propose to pursue is as 
follows : (1) The natural meaning of hrifioXri used of operations of the 
senses or the mind is a ' projection upon ', and so ' attention to ', and, 
•with the added notion of the result, ' apprehension ' and even ' view '. 
(2) Epicurus in several of the crucial passages implies an «n/3oA.iJ of 
the senses, as ' apprehension ' by ' looking ' as opposed to passive 
seeing. (3) bnfiokr) t^? Siavoias corresponds exactly to this and 
means firstly (a), the immediate appiehension by an act of mental 
attention of certain subtle ' images ', too fine to be apprehended by 
the senses, and, in particular, of the ' images ' of divine beings : 
secondly {/>), the immediate, or ' intuitive ' apprehension of concepts, 

1 For the text see the notes on the passages 

'EnrifioXr} tt}s bmvoias 


and in particular of the ' clear 1 e. self-evident concepts of scientific 
thought. With this prefape, which may be of assistance in the course 
of a rather intricate and necessarily controversial argument, we may 
proceed to full discussion. 

1. It was one of the cardinal principles of the Canontca 1 (§ 38) that 
words must be used in their first and obvious meaning, and^hough it 
may well seem to us at times that Epicurus has hardly succeeded in 
carrying out his principles, yet his intention suggests that the best start- 
ing-point for inquiry is to ask what is the natural meaning of the word 
erripo\-/j. Proceeding from such literal usages as imfiaXktiv -nxs x i "P a ' t 
it is natural to concludejhat itrifiakktiv (tw vovv or the like) will mean, 
like the commoner brcx tly > ' to project the mind towards ', ' to turn the 
attention to ' an object . so Diod Sic. xx. 43 has -n-pos ovScv ^wc'/JaAAc 
Ttjv Stavoiak, ' he paid no attention to anything '. In an absolute sense 
without the accusative we find to« Kotvots 7rpdy/xuo-iv tVi^aAXctv in 
Plut. Ctc. 4 as an equivalent of rem publicum capessere, and in a 
famous passage of St Mark xiv. 72 xal i?rifia\mv €kXo«. The verb 
is used in this way in an Epicurean passage of some importance, 
Aet iv 8 ro, p 395 (Useneryr 317) AcvKiv-iro? A^/noKptros 'EiriKovpo<: 
rtjv alo-Oyjcrtv ko.1 ttjv vorjcriv yivtfrOai ei8u>\.wv t£tu#ev TTpofrwvTuiv fir)&cvl 
yap en-i/3aAAeiv ^njScrcpav ^lupis rov 7rpo<r7ri7rrovTos ti&iuXov, and again in 
Iambi. Prolr 4. 56 4) Ji/as tois uparok tVt/JaAAei for the moment we 
will suspend the question of the exact sense in these rather technical 

tVi/SoX^, the substantive, should then mean 'a projection towards', 
' attention to and so with the added notion of the result of such 
attention, ' view ' or ' apprehension ' . the substantive is thus used by 
Clem. Alex. 644 tVi/3oA.^ ttjs aKr)6tiat, a ' grasp ' or 'apprehension * of 
the truth. The simple ivi-fioXri without further qualification occurs 
six times in the Letter to Herodotus. (1) In § 35 Epicurus is speak- 
ing of the reason for writing an epitome, rfjs yap &6p6a<; c7rx/3oA.:ijs 
ttvxvov Beofie&a, rrjs Si Kara fuepoi 01)^ b/j.oim's, ' for we have frequent 
need of the general view of the system, but not so often of the detailed 
exposition'. (2) In § 83 again, summing up the uses of the Letter, he 
says that even those who are working out the system in detail will be 
able tis rat TOiavras ivaXdovrat i-jrifiokas tus 7rA.€t<rras tujv ■jrtpio&tiwv 

ii7rcp -njs oXrjt 4>va-tu><: 'iroitl<T0ai, ' to carry out the greater part of their 
investigations Into the nature of the whole by conducting their analysis 
with reference to such a survey as this '. (3) With these two passages 
goes the earlier of two instances in § 36 /3aSurrtov /xev ovv iir' ixttva 

teal o~vvt)(ws iv tj} //.vij/irj to rocrourov Troirjreov, d<£' ou i) re Kvpuorarrj 
iiri/3o\r] brl ra. irpayfuxra £<rrai, ' it is necessary to go back on the mam 
principles and constantly to fix in one's memory enough to give one 
the most essential comprehension of the truth '. The meaning in 
these three passages is direct and clear. Slightly more technical are 

1 E P 1, i 38. 


{4) § 69, where he is speaking of the properties (crv/u./J«/?ijK<Jra) of com- 
pound things Kal iiriftoXas fuey lx oVTa 'Sta* wavra ravrd icrn (cal 
Btakrpfrut, ' all these properties have their own peculiar means of being 
perceived and distinguished ', and (5) § 70 K ar errt/JoAos 8' Sv rwa<s . - 
iKoxrra vpo<rayop<v0t{r), ' as the result of certain acts of apprehension . 
they might each be given this name Here we are clearly approach- 
ing a more esoteric use, though still on the same lines, and the last 
passage, (6) § 36 to tows eiri^o\ais o£«os Swao-tfai yprju^ai must wait for 
the results of the general discussion. Similarly the passage in Clement 
of Alexandria quoted above, in which it is stated that Tr/aoXi^is is an 
iirifioXq towards an ivapyh, must be kept over for the present. 
iirif3o\ri then would appear 10 mean an 'act of attention', and so 
' view ' or ' apprehension '. Both Tohte and Giussam, however, 
believe that it has also m Epicurus the ' passive ' or ' objective ^mean- 
ing of the ' impression ' resulting from such an act of apprehension 
It is true that there are close parallels in Epicurus' technical phraseo- 
logy for this derivative passive sense : <uo-0tjo-is is certainly used both 
for the act of sensation or perception and also for the passive sensation 
or perception received, and Trp6\yj\]/is, which should strictly mean the 
' act of anticipation ' is never, I think, used in this sense by Epicurus, 1 
but always of the 'general concept' or 'compound image", which is 
the basis of such an ' act of anticipation '. But, although it is some- 
times possible that the passive sense rather than the active may be 
intended, it is never* necessary, and its indiscriminate introduction 
has, I believe, done a good deal to confuse issues. 

a. We may get much light on the meaning of iTri(3o\^ tt}s St.a.voCa<; 
if we ask first whether Epicurus contemplates any other kind of 
imj3ok^ besides that of the mind. The answer is not far to seek, 
though its importance seems not to have been sufficiently noticed • * 
Epicurus clearly recognizes an tiri/JoA^ of the senses. They are not 
(at any rate, not always) the merely passive recipients of an impression, 
but by an ' act of attention ' they apprehend the images which are 
flowing in upon them : they ' look ' or ' listen ' as opposed to merely 
'seeing' or 'hearing'. In that case it is clear that imfioXrj'' will be 
connected with the process of eirifutpru/njcni, the close view of the 
ivdpyijfia, which is to check the rash inferences of Sofa, and tell us with 
certainty the true nature of the object. The passages in the Letter to 

1 Giussam, loc cit,, p 180. 

1 It seems, however, to be so used in the Epicurean passage from Clem. Alex 
quoted above. 

* Except possibly in J 38. 

* Tohte remarks it (p. 21) and points out that it is m distinction from the ivifioXjf 
of the senses that Epicurus speaks explicitly of imffoKi/ rfjs itavoias. So also does 
Merbach (pp 31, 33) Giussam seems not to realize it at all, and is consequently 
driven to a very unnatural interpretation of some of the passages in which it is 
referred to. 

* This connexion, which seems to me both necessary and extremely important,, 
has escaped both Tohte and Giussam. 

'E-jrt/3oA.7) rfjj biavoias 


Herodotus which mention or imply this hnfioXri of the senses are four 
m number, and it will be convenient to consider them in the order of 
their increasing difficulty. 

B. § 50. The clearest and easiest of the passages is that in which 
Epicurus most emphatically and duectly sums up his doctrine as to 
the value of irri/3oXrj in general. The idea here seems exactly to bear 
out what has been said. ' The image which we obtain by an act of 
attenuon or apprehension on the part of the senses (we must leave out 
the mmd for the moment) of the shape or property (e g the colour) of 
an object, is in fact its shape (or property).' This is exactly the idea 
of t7rt/xapn?pi)<ns which Epicurus has just been expounding m the 
preceding context. Our first passive sensation of a distant object is 
' true for the image is a faithful representation of the successive 
' idols ', but it is not until we have ' looked at ' the close, clear view 
(to -n-apov, to ivapyis), that we can be hure that the image exactly 
reproduces the shape and colour of the object. eVi/3oX^ is required 
for the confirmation (or non-confirmation) of the So&i founded on the 
original passive perception. 

E. § 62, though a very different passage from the point of view of 
the (Vi/3oXtj tt)s Siavoias, stiongly confirms this notion of the iirL/3oXrj 
of the senses. Epicurus is considering the motion of the atoms in 
a moving compound body • by ' looking ' we perceive that the motion 
of a whole body is the sum of the motions of all its perceptible parts 
in the same direction as the whole (e g. an army). 86£a applies this 
analog}' to the motion of the atomic parts of a moving body and infers 
that it will be the same, whereas iirif3oXr] tt/s Siayoias shows that it is 
different. Here to 0€<opoij/j.evov(what is seen by ' looking ' as opposed to 
to opuificvov) is clearly equivalent in sense to to ^7rt^XrjTiKois Xaix/3a.v6- 
/xcvoi^toIs aicr&pnjpiois in B, and the general idea is the same as in the 
previous passage. The im/SoXr/ of lhe senses gives us the certain 
image of a avfiTmofm (in this case movement) of a trrtptfiviov. 

We are now in a position to deal with the other two passages, where 
the sense is slightly more obscure 

A § 38 After speaking of the necessity for keeping the terminology 
of our investigations in exact correspondence with the ideas which it 
represents, Epicurus proceeds to consider the methods of investiga- 
tion. For clearness' sake we may extract the words which refer to the 

tirifioXrj of thfe senses : Kara Tas aio-Bri&ciS 8«i irtlvra rrjpiiv Kai dwAtoS 
(fcara) ras Trapovcras «m/? . . . otov SrproTt tuiv Kpirrjpiiuv, . 
oVcus av . . . t6 trpoarfievov . . l\fop.€v oh oTj/^tioxrtj/w^a : ' in order that we 
may have certain indications by which lo judge the image awaiting con- 
firmation (1 e. the original image of the distant Object), we must keep 
everything under the control of the senses (i.e free from the additions 
of So£a), and in particular of the close apprehension (to.s Trapovcras 

C7rty3oAa? IS equivalent to Tas CTrtf3oXa<; iirl to Trapov tjBtj Kara. TTjV 

a"<r&Tj<rtv, cf. K. A. xxiv) of any of the standards of judgement '. The 


KfH-njpia 1 here are clearly the individual senses', sight, hearing, &c, the 
altr&rfnjpia of B, which are indeed Kpcrrjpm because they are the instru- 
ments of aUrthpTtt : the expression is a little loose, but the meaning in 
view of the parallel passages quite unmistakable. The general notion 
of the passage is then exactly the same as that of the two preceding 
quotations, but it is much more clearly and elaborately stated. The 
brifioXy of the senses, the irpoafxivov and the process of irrifiaprvpricni 
are all brought into close connexion. The all-important matter for 
scientific investigation in the region of perception is the pure sensa- 
tion, and in particular the observation of phenomena in the close 
view, which will give us the certainty that the sense-image corresponds 
to objective reality. 

C. § 51. Epicurus is here arguing for the exact resemblance of the 
sense-images to the objects from which the ' idols ' emanate. Extracting 
again the portions relating to the en-tj8o\^ of the senses, we get • 17 re 
yap r<ov (jxivracr /j.wv olov ei Iv tLKovi \aifjif3a.vofJLev<tiV . . koto rai 

<7riy3o\aS TU>V AotTTCOl' KpiTTJpthiV OVK S.V TTOTf VTnjpX* TOIS OVtTt Tt KCU 

aXrjdtai Trpoaayopcvofii'vocs, ft fir) r/v rtva (cat tololvto. Trpo<Tf3aXX(jfi.(va, 
' unless " idols " came to us, which are exact reproductions of the 
object, we could not be certain of the exact resemblance of the 
images obtained by the "apprehensions" of the senses', that is, 
the images seen by observation in the nearer view. The expression, 
as far as concerns the iirifioXri of the senses, is exactly parallel to what 
we have already met: the present passage adds no new ideas, but 
once more confirms our conclusion. 

There is now no difficulty in interpreting the phrase of Iamblichus, 
which was noted on p. 261. 17 -rots oocltoTs c7rt/3aAAei expresses 
clearly enough the act of imPokrj on the part of the sense of sight m 
immediate relation to its own peculiar object, visible things. Before 
leaving the iirtf3o\rj of the senses, we may notice that the whole notion 
of the act of attention on the part of the senses and the resulting 
apprehension is clearly brought out by Lucretius iv. 807-810 (as an 
illustration of similar ' attention ' on the part of the mind) . 

nonne vides oculos etiam, cum tenvia quae sunt 
cernere coeperunt, contendere se atque parare, 
nec sine eo fieri posse ut cernamus acute ? 

The ideas of the l-mf3o\^ and the ' clear view ' could iiardly be ex- 
pressed more accurately. 

3 {a). It 13 now time to pass to the consideration of the iTrif3o\r) 
ttjs Stavoiai, and it is clear that the first question to be asked is whether 

» Ginssani (p. 177), not realizing the ini(3o\j) of the senses, takes Kprr^pta here 
to be ' signs ' (arjiuta as Epicures ordinarily calls them), and, since he naturally 
feels that 'signs' could not be standards of reference, docs not insert xari, but 
leaves the lm(So\<ii both of the mind and of the mptrfipta subordinate to aXolhqtsis m 
general : but apart from all other objections (see notes on the passage) the parallel 
off 51 makes this impossible. 

*Eiri#o\ij i-ijs biavoCas 


there is any act performed by the mind in Epicurus' psychology which 
is analogous to the apprehension of an image by an act of attention on 
the part of the senses ? We are at once reminded of course of the 
very subtle ' idols ' which, being too fine to be perceived by the senses, 
pass on into the mind and are there immediately apprehended by it, 
the images seen in sleep, the visions of dead persons, above all the 
' images ' of the gods. In these cases there seems to be a very close 
parallel : the act of apprehension by the mind is, as it were, a kind of 
subtle sense-perception, and moreover we are informed by Lucretius 1 
that such images are so fine, that, even when they have penetrated to 
the mind, they cannot be perceived by it except by a special act of 
attention, so that we see them most often in sleep, when the senses 
are dormant and the mind is undisturbed This seems to be exactly 
what we should expect of the ejrt/3o\^ t^s Smvotas, the perception of 
what is really a sense-image by an net of attention on the part of the 
mind. It is necessary to bee how this notion tallies with the passages 
in Epicurus it will again be convenient to take them in the order 
which will most naturally develop the idea. 

D § 51, the passage in which Epicurus is arguing for the exact 
correspondence of the sense-images 10 the object from which they come. 
We are now concerned 'with the list of ' images ' whose likeness is 
guaranteed by that of the idols. They are ' the images perceived as a 
kind of likeness (1 e the normal images of sensation) or those occur- 
ring in sleep, or owing to any of ihe other apprehensions of the 
mind ..." It would be impossible to have clearer confirmation than 
this : the images of sleep are perceived by one kind of iTri/3o\t} 7-7S 
Siavotas, and there are others (such as the images of the gods and the 
visions of the dead) perceived by other similar £iri/3oW. All of these, 
just like the sense-images perceived by the €7rtj3oXal tu>v aio-fornjpiW, 
require as the guarantee of their truth the correspondence of ' idols ' to 
object, » 

B § 50. ' Any image which we obtain by an act of apprehension 
on the part of the mind . ., whether it is of shape or quality, is 
(1. e exactly represents) the shape (or quality) of the object.' Is this 
true of our present notion of the tVi^oX^ rrji SiaWas ? It certainly is 
true of the images of the gods, for they are formed by a succession of 
' idols ' which come directly from the divine beings to the mind : the 
' idol ' is that»which was once the ' body ' of the god. It is equally 
true of visions of the dead, for again they are caused by ' idols ' which 
came from their bodies when alive. But there are certain other kinds 
of images similarly perceived by the mind, which cannot here be 
passed over, for example, the o-uoracrtis, the strange, grotesque, com- 
pound images which form themselves in the air, and the visions of 
delirium. In neither of these cases does the ' image' correspond to an 
external reality. Epicurus saved himself m such cases by arguing that 

1 Compare iv. 757-776 with 800-815. 



the image is ' true because it corresponds to the ' idols ', and 1 it is 
a mistaken inference of h6£a to assume that the ' idols ' in their turn 
represent actual realities. But it would perhaps be the truest account 
of the case to say that Epicurus is in the present passage thinking 
primarily of the other kinds of ' mental apprehensions ', and in par- 
ticular, as Tohte* believes he usually is, of the images of the gods. At 
any rate this passage again is a strong confirmation of the present view. 

A. § 38 contains nothing which is inconsistent wiih this interpre- 
tation. The objects known to us by this mode of cognition, the 
immediate apprehension by the mind, are necessarily aStjXa, because 
they are imperceptible by the sense-organs. Selecting then the por- 
tion of the aphorism which concerns us, we get the principle ' in 
order that we may have standards by which to judge the impercep- 
tible, we must keep all under the control of the senses, and in 
particular of the close apprehension of the mind '. This suits well 
enough with our present idea, but seems to suggest that it is not yet 
complete . for there seems nothing m the perception by the mind of 
the subtle images to correspond to ' a judgement on the imperceptible 
by means of the close view ', or at any rate to get it we should have 
to press facts a little. Here then there is no contradiction of our 
present position, but a distinct hint for the. first time that the «ri/3oAi? 
hiavolat covers something more 

D. § 51 and E. § 62 must still be left aside for the present, but we 
are now in a position to consider the reference m Kvpiai :Xo£ai xxiv, 
and it will be seen to sum up admirably the account at present given 
of the cVi/3o\tu both of the senses and of the mind In xxui, which 
is closely connected with it, Epicurus has said ' if you reject all 
sensations, you will have no standard by which to judge even those 
which you say are false '. In xxiv he pushes his argument still 
farther : ' if j.ou reject any single sensation and fail to distinguish 
between the conclusion of opinion as to the appearance awaiting 
confirmation on the one hand, and on the other the close view made 
by sense -perception or feeling, or every kind of mental apprehension 
of an image, you will confound all other sensations as well by your 
groundless opinion, so that you will lose all standard of judgement '. 
This agrees excellently with what has been said : alike in cases of 
sense-perception and mental apprehension we must respect the 
validity of every sensation and attend to the close view, carefully 
distinguishing between the vague image of the indistinct view and the 
clear vision obtained by an act of apprehension. But here once 
again there is a suggestion of something more in the iwifSokr) r$s 
£tavotas than we have yet discovered * how does it obtain a clear 
vision in contrast to an image awaiting confirmation ? and what is 

1 Sex. Emp. adv. Maih. vm 63 (Usener 253) 1} p.\v a'agjjais vn' tlBtljKoiv KivovpJvrj 
iKijOip Ijv (vwIjccito yip tcl tTScoka), 6 Si vovs old/twos on artpifO'iol tlaiv 'Eplvvts 
(he is taking the case of Orestes) i<jitv&oS6[ «. 

* Op. ciL, p 33. 

*Eirij8oArj rrjs hiavouxs 


meant by 'every imftoXij of the mind ' ? Surely something more than 
the apprehension of the various kinds of subtle image. 

So far we have concluded that the iirif3o\r) rijs Siavoi'as is a ' mental 
apprehension of an image perceived directly by the mind without the 
intervention of the senses and we might naturally suppose that 
Epicurus insisted on its truth and, even if he did not quite class it as 
a Kpirqpiov, 1 yet named it so frequently among the Kpirijpux, mainly in 
order to support his theological contention that our mental vision of 
the forms of the gods is evidence of their existence. This is in effect 
the view of Tohte, except that he leans (unnecessarily, as I think) to 
the passive interpretation, and would speak of the i-n-t/3oA.Tj ttj9 Siavotas 
as an ' impression received by the apprehension of the mind '. And if 
this were all the evidence we had, ve might be content with his 
explanation. But it has already been noted that this view does not 
seem to cover the full meaning required either in A. § 38 or in 
K A xxiv we have, moreover, been compelled at present to leave 
over D § 51, as there seems nothing in what has been said to explain 
it, and an examination of E. § 62 in its context will show at once that 
it can have nothing whatever to do with the mental apprehension of 
subtle images. If a complete explanation of tirc/JoAi; tt)s Siavoias is to 
be discovered, it will be necessary to make further inquiry. 

3 We must ask then, can the iwifioXr) t»}s Stapouxs grasp or 
apprehend anything else besides these subtle images, exactly analo- 
gous to the images of normal sense-perception ? At this point the 
passage quoted above 3 from Clement of Ale\andna becomes of 
crucial importance 'Epicurus ', he says, ' explains "anticipation " as 
an apprehension "of something clear or of the clear thought-image of 
the thing.' Now from our knowledge of the nature of ^0X17^19 this 
is not difficult to explain the 'act of anticipation' — for -n-poXrjtpn 1 is 
here used, contrary to Epicurus' usual custom, in an active sense — is 
the apprehension of the general or compound image, made up of many 
individual sense-images. This ' apprehension ' must be mental — must 
be an ori/JoAi? tt;s Utavoias, for the general image can only be perceived 
uy the mind and not by the senses, and what now is its object ? Not 
a sense-image, nor anything analogous to it, but a concept An 
Itti/3o\.t) rrjs Suu-cnas then can grasp a concept, and with this new 
notion in mind we may turn to the examination of the difficult 
passage in tne Letter to Herodotus, which has been left over for 

E. § 62. The particular question at issue in the context is What is 
the nature of the atomic motions in a compound body ? ' We know ', 
says Epicurus tn effect, 'that the perceptible parts of a moving body are 
all moving in the same direction as the whole body : this is the 
truth guaranteed to us by an fn-i/SoA/rj t<Lv a.l<r0r)nipiu>v (to 6tu>povp.cvov 
is clearly that which is grasped by the senses when " looking " at the 
close view, 1. e. by an e7ri/?oXi}). By analogy we apply the same idea in 

1 D. L x. 31, quoted on p. 260 a p. 360, * See p. 263, n. 2 



thought to the imperceptible atomic parts and suppose that they too 
are all moving in the same direction as the whole : this is the work of 
opinion (So£a) combining images and forming what Epicurus would 
call technically an lirLvoia kot* avaXoyuw. But we know as the repult 
of scientific investigation that the atoms are really in a constant state 
of vibratory motion (imAo-is) in all directions, and this conclusion must 
be true as against our previous supposition, because it ts obtained by an 
i7rt/3o\i] T7)s Siavotas.' What does this mean ? how do we know this 
fact by an impokr) r>?s Siarotias and why is it therefore certainly true ? 
Giussani, largely on the strength of this passage, but influenced also 
by his general theories of the process of thought in Epicurus, has 
argued for a far wider sense of iiri/3oX.r) rrjs Siavotas than that proposed 
by Tohte. 'The iwi^oXtj rr/s Stavoias for Epicurus comprehends both 
what Tohte supposes, but not that alone, and 7rp6A.iji/ns, as Bneger 
wishes, but not it alone, and scientific concepts in general, including 
the concepts of those aSyXa. — be they real or contuncta or eventa — which 
do not give off " idols ". In fine the em/JoX^ 1-7)5 Siavoias is mental 
representation in general.' 1 The one fatal objection to this all-em- 
bracing view of the i-rriftoXrj is to my mind just this passage (§ 62) on 
which it is based. Seeing that all mental operations, including S6$a 
itself, are carried on, according to Epicurus, by visualized images or 
* mental representation ', it is impossible that Epicurus could have said 
that 1 everything that is grasped by mental representation is true '. 
Giussani went farther, I think, in this last clause than he really meant, 
and wished to distinguish the ' concepts of science ' from the images 
formed by opinion, but that is just the crux of the whole matter. 

Turn once more to the instance in § 62. We have a problem : 
What is the moiion of the aioms in a moving compound body ? Two 
solutions are offered, one that they are all moving in the same direc- 
tion as the whole, the other that they are moving in imperceptible 
little trajects in all directions. The former is the solution of opinion 
based on the analogy of the perceptible, and it is false : the latter is 
the solution of imfiokrj 1-79 Starcwas, and it is true. Why ? What is 
the' difference in process by which the two solutions are aimed at ? 
' Opinion Epicurus himself tells us — for we may now make use of D. 
§ 51 — 'is a movement of the mind closely connected with the hrifioKr) 
but distinct from it ? ' What is the distinction ? Why is 
one liable to produce false results, while the other can only give us what 
is true ? If we could answer that question with certainty, we should 
have solved not merely the particular problem before us, but much 
of the difficulty of the Epicurean theory of knowledge. With some 
hesitation I venture to give an answer. So far what we know of 
cirif3o\ii Trjs Siavoias in the secondary sense is that it can apprehend 
concepts, as in n-pdA.Tii/'i.s (Clem. Alex.), and that its operation is in 
some way parallel to that of the en-i^oA?) rwv auT&rjTrjptwv in the 


1 Loc cit-, p. i?9j$rt 

'E7n./3o\T) 'ttjs biavolas 


process of fcri/taprvpTcrie (A. § 38 and K. A. xxiv). Let us attempt to 
apply these ideas to the problem of atomic motion. Aofa frames the 
theory that the atoms m the moving compound all move in the direc- 
tion of the whole body, as do the perceptible parts of the body How 
is this theory to be tested ? According to the ordinary rule of the 
Canomca in dealing with SBrjXa by reference to the senses. But in 
this case, either the senses would give us no criterion of judgement, 
or, as in the case of celestial phenomena, several possible theories 
might meet with no avTifaaprvprio-is and be equally true Scientific 
theory requires a greater accuracy than this, and as a matter of fact 
Epicurus does not test the So£a£o/x*cov by reference to the senses, but 
by reference to an iirif3oXi] r^s Siavot'o? Scientific thought then about 
the ultimate realities is conducted on some different lines, and results 
in a ' one and only' truth. I suggest that in Epicurus' view the con- 
cepts of science are built up step by step by the juxtaposition (o-uvOto-t?) 
of previous concepts, each m their turn grasped as ' clear ' or self- 
evident by the immediate apprehension of the mind {im^okf] r>}s 
Siavot'as) What is important here is to show that this conclusion is 
forced upon us by the passage in question. Epicurus refers the 
8o£a£6fj,cvov not to the senses, but to ' that which is grasped by tVi/JoA.-^ 
rijs Siavoiai'. What is it that is thus apprehended? Clearly the 
' vision ' or ' image ' or ' concept ' of the atoms still, even inside the 
moving Lompound body, themselves moving in every direction And 
how is that vision (eVapyt's) formed? Clearly by the juxtaposition of 
the previous concept of the movement of free or uncompounded atoms 
(itself similarly formed by the apprehension of other 'clear visions' in 
juxtaposition) with the concept of atoms enclosed in a moving 
aGpoto-fia ; such a juxtaposition can only make one new image or 
concept — only form one picture and not several alternative pictures — 
and that concept, because it is 1 clear ' or, as we might say, ' self- 
evident is immediately or, as we should say, ' intuitively ' appre- 
hended by the attentive mind in an iTri/3o\rj. And the moment that 
concept is apprehended, is seen to be true, we know that the previous 
8o£<l£<v«vov, founded on an arbitrary analogy, is false. Here then is 
an exact illustration of what I conceive to be Epicurus' idea of the 
process of scientific thought Moreover, we now see that this process 
is in reality exactly parallel to the tVt/xapru'pjjo-ts. The So&^d/Aevov of 
thought is tested, just as is the Sofofrvifvov with regard to a sense- 
impression, by the apprehension — now mental — of a ' clear ' image, 
seen, as it were, in the nearer view : that apprehension declares against 
the supposition of opinion, and at the same time, as the near view 
should, gives the one and only truth. Finally, it is now possible to 
say that the difference between opinion and mental apprehension is 
that whereas Sofa arbitrarily combines many kinds of concepts with 
each other or with the images of sense, iinfiloXr} -rijs Stovoias imme- 
diately apprehends a new concept as the necessary result of the com- 
bination of concepts, themselves similarly apprehended. i7rtj3oX^ rijs 



SiavoCat then, as it plays its part in the highest mental operation of 
scientific thought, is the immediate ' apprehension by the mmd of the 
concepts of scientific truth', which is conceived of as a chain of 
necessarily connected and self-evident visualizations. 

It remains to test this idea by reference to the other passages in 

B. § 50 deals solely with the form and qualities of (TTtpi/xvia- The 
secondary sense of iiri[ia\ri rrj<; fitavota? has no place here, and we may 
say confidently that Epicurus is thinking solely of the primary sense of 
the mental apprehension of 'subtle images'. C. § 51 is similarly 
concerned with the theory of ' idols '. Again the ' mental appre- 
hension ' involved there is solely the semi-sensational apprehension 
of the subtle images. But in A. § 38 the new conception supplies 
exactly the lack which Was felt on the first examination of the passage. 
In it the parallel between the two kinds of c7rt^3oX^, that of the senses 
and that of the mind, is very prominent, as also is the conception of the 
Trpoafiiyav and iTri/jLaprvpr/a-ii. Including the second meaning of iiri- 
fioki) Tjjs Siavotas it is possible to complete the parallel : ctti/SoXt) t^s 
SiavoCai is a test by which to judge the d&rjXa, not merely because some 
iSrjXa give us direct mental impressions, but because by the process 
of the ' near view ' of scientific concepts, hypotheses about the imper- 
ceptible may be tested and the truth ' clearly ' perceived. The passage 
is given a fullness of meaning which was before notably lacking. Once 
again in K. A. xxiv the secondary sense is, though not perhaps so 
clearly, included. The airopovfifvov of scientific inquiry is, like the 
distant view, a trporrfUvov as opposed to it is the 'near view ', to irapbv 
T)&r) Kara rr/v i-mpoKrjv tt)s Stavotas. If these be not kept distinct, 
science, like everyday life, will be confounded with groundless 

I do not of course wish to substitute this new conception of the 
brifioXr) T77S Siavoias for that of Tohte, but to add it to it : ' mental 
apprehension ' is of course concerned with the subtle images, but also 
with the concepts of science. If we now turn back to Gmssam's 
summary, and exclude the rash generalization of the final clause, we 
shall see that it precisely represents the conclusion we have reached, 
only that we now know the reason for the inclusion of all its parts 
' The iTrifioki) tjjs Siavoias comprehends both what Tohte supposes 
(for there it is the immediate apprehension of an image perceptible 
only by the mind), but not that alone, and ^poX^is, as Brieger wishes 
(for the act of np6kr)<l/i<s is again an immediate apprehension by the 
mind of an image that can exist only in the mind and is itself a 
critenonof truth), and (whatGiussam wishes, but does not clearly express 
or explain) scientific concepts (for in their case im/3o\y is the act of 
apprehension in the nearer view of clear and self-evident concepts).' 
But ctti/JoAt) tt7s Siavotaf is not ' mental apprehension in general ', for 
that would include also the operations of B6$a, which are liable to 
error. The result then of this long investigation is to confirm what 

'Eirt/SoAi; tt/s biavoCas 

I believe Giussani really meant, only I hope that the process of 
investigation has put his theory on a firmer basis for parts of my 
argument I cannot, I fear, claim complete iiri/iaprvp7/o-« in the 
authorities, but I fully believe there is no aLvrifiaprvprfa-n ; and as I 
may certainly claim that the whole subject is aSr/Aov, that is as much 
as can be demanded 

There remain over certain additional problems which are closely 
connected with the main question. 

1. It is not difficult now to see that «Vi/?oXat in § 36 is used in 
a technical sense, but also in the widest possible meaning, including 
all tirij3o\al both of the aivdrp-qpia and of the Bidvoia ' The most 
essential thing ', for a scientific inquirer, ' is to be able to conduct 
acutely his acts of observation or apprehension, both with the senses 
and in the mind ' Similarly we can now say that the passage from 
Aetius quoted on p. 261 is technical, and concerns iinPoKal both of 
the senses and of the mind. 

2. It will be noticed that in some of the extracts 1 there is prefixed 
to i-!rif3okr) tt/s Siavoias the epithet (pavracrriKy. The question has 
often been raised whether the </>ai/Ta<rriKi/ c7i-i/3oA.^ tt/s Staroias differs 
from any other form of iirifSoXr) tt/s Siavotas, and if so, what the 
difference is. Both Tohte and Giussani, though for different reasons, 
deny the difference, Tohte because it is obvious that the only £?i-<./?oAt/ 
he conceives — the direct apprehension of the subtle images — is always 
necessarily <£ai/Tao~7-iKT/, Giussani because, since all thought is con- 
ducted by visual images, it is impossible to imagine an cVi/JoXt/ (or 
even a Sofa) which is not <£avracrTLKi/. I should be inclined to agree 
m denying the difference, of course for Giussani's reason, but I also 
think that in the passages where the epithet is used, Epicurus is think- 
ing primarily of the tVi/JoX*/ of the subtle tpavraa-ia of the gods, &c , 
and not of that of scientific concepts, for it is more obviously and 
immediately <f>avTa.<mK-q 

3. A more difficult and important problem is the question why 
' the Epicureans ' * made the tfaavracn-iKr) cVi^oXtj tt/s Slclvolols a criterion 
of truth, with its almost equally difficult corollary, why Epicurus, after 
his constant coupling of it with the other criteria, did not. I hope 
that the previous discussion has thrown some light on this point. In 
justice to 'the Epicureans' we must in the first place notice how 
exceedingly dose Epicurus himself comes to calling it a criterion. In 
E. § 62 he affirms that the conclusions reached (or, as we should 
rather say, the images grasped) by eVt/3o\T/ t?)s Smvoiat are always 
true : in B. § 50 he states similarly that the image of the form of 
a concrete object apprehended by ctri/JoA.^ tt/s Sutvotm is in fact its 
form • in A. § 38 he speaks of the eirt/3o\aC ' of the mind or of any of 
the KpLTTjpto, ' (used here, as we have seen, in an active sense, of the 
senses which make the tVi/?oW, = a'ur6T]Trjpia), and in C § 51 even 

1 §5 3 1 . 57/"-, K- A xxiv. 

a D. L. x. 31. 


more explicitly of ' the iirifioXau of the mind or of the rest of the 
KpiTTjpta' : finally in Kvpuxi Aofac Iliv the <)>avTaaruaf briflokr) rrjr 
Siavotas is ranked alongside with ala-&r)cr<.s and the -rraB-q. The cumula- 
tive impression of these passages is certainly that of a tacit acceptance 
of brij3o\i) rfji oWocas as a Kpmjpiov, and one feels that 'the 
Epicureans ' had but a very small step to take. Yet Epicurus never 
in so many words states that the iirifiokij is a Kptn/piov of truth and 
his authoritative list of the Kptnjpia does not contain it. Can we 
explain his reluctance to make this identification as contrasted with 
the Epicureans' apparent insistence upon it ? I think I can give an 
answer. Epicurus did not include the lirifioXr} 1 mainly, I believe, for 
two closely allied reasons ■ (i) that he felt uneasy about the * truth ' of 
certain of the images directly apprehended by the mind, about the 
visions, that is, of delirium, the a-uo-raa-tvt and some of the images of 
sleep , (2) that in spite of all his insistence on the truth of atcrtfyo-is, 
he felt similarly uneasy about the passive sensation, and in particular 
about the ' distant view '. In other words, to put these two difficulties 
together, Epicurus did not wish to raise in any form the question of 
' truth ' involved in the relation of the image, the 1 idol ' and the real 
object, for any such ' stirring of the mind ' might have imperilled his 
whole system. There are plenty of similar indications of the same 
hesitation at different points in his psychology. On the other hand, 
where their Master feared to tread, the Epicureans rushed in and 
included the hrifioXr] ttJs SicuWas 2 in the criteria Their reasons were, 
I believe, somewhat as follows (1) They strongly maintained the 
truth of the ' image ' on the ground of its correspondence to the 
* idols ' : it was then necessary to admit that the ' idol ' of the ' distant 
view ' (e.g. the small round tower) was untrue as a representation of 
the concrete object ^Trijoapnj/njo-ts and the * near view ' obtained by 
iirtfioXri is then the only method of securing full truth, i.e. complete 
correspondence of object, 'idol ' and image (2) Similarly in the region 
of thought the only method of distinguishing the certain concepts of 
science from the false hypotheses of 86£a, was by insistence on the 
truth of ideas obtained by iirtfioXy rf}s 6Woias. (3) They were anxious 
(as Tohte has suggested) to maintain the certainty of the knowledge 
of the gods as obtained by the immediate mental apprehension of their 
images. The Epicureans had already been denounced on the ground 
of atheism, and it was necessary to rebut the charge. • 

4. In conclusion we must consider certain expressions .in Latm 

1 Notice that all the passages in the Letter to Herodotus give us jnst as much 
justification for the inclusion of the «mj8o\^ of the senses as a criterion, as they do 
for that of the iniPoXf) Tijr Stavoias the -passage m the Kvptcu Acif at alone place* the 
tpavTaarucr) iwiBo\)) rfjs Stavoias on a different footing. 

1 It seems odd at first sight that they did not also put m inPoKij rvv aX<j8i\Tr\piair , 
bnt the reason clearly is that it was already included under aXafhrjOK, whereas in 
Epicurus' list there was no mental Kptrijpioy at all, under which infioKi) rrjs duwotas 
might be subsumed. 


authors, which appear to have a connexion with the im(Jo\ii rijs 
Stavotas. In one passage of Cicero and two (possibly three) m 
Lucretius siKh an echo seems clear : we must ask whether it is the 
result of mere coincidence or of translation, and if the latter, what is 
the exact relation of the Latin passages to Epicurus' theory. 

(a) Cic. de Nat. Dear. i. 54 * si immensam et interminatam in 
omnis partis magnitudinem regionum videretis, in quam se iniciens 
animus el intendens ita late longeque peregnnatur, ut nullam tamen 
Oram ultimam videat, in qua possit insistere ' The mind is here 
' projecting and straining itself towards (or into) ' the infinity of space 

(£) Lucr. ii. 1044- 104 7 : 

quaerit enim rationem animus, cum summa loci sit 
infimta fons haec extra moenia mundi, 
quid sit lbi porro quo prospicere usque velit mens " 
atque antmi tactus liber quo pervolet ipse. 

The mind is here similarly * projecting itself freely ' into infinite space 
to ask what there is outside our world. 

(f) Lucr. 11. 739—744. The poet has stated that the atoms are 
colourless, and wishes to forestall the objection that we can have no 
mental pictures which can give us knowledge of such atoms . 

in quae corpora si nullus tibi forte videtur 
posse antmi miecfus fieri, procul avius erras. 

scire licet nostrae quoque menti corpora posse 
verti in notitiam nullo circumhta fuco. 

We can * project our mind ' to bodies without colour : they can form 
a concept in our mind. 

{d) Lucr. 11. 1080 would, if Winckelmann's conjecture 

in primis animahbus inice mentem 

be right, offer us another example of the similar idea, 'turn your 
attention to the animals', but (a) in with the ablative animahbus as 
compared with in with the accusative in the other passages is not 
satisfactory, or indeed natural, (d) I doubt if the sense is right, as we 
may see subsequently. The MS. text indice mente should probably be 

(<;) To these passages we must add, though the expression is 
different, another already quoted in connexion with the iirifioki) 
(iv. 802-817), and note especially : 

et quia tenvia sunt, n\st quae conlendil, 1 acute 

cernere non potis est animus; proinde omnia quae sunt 

praeterea pereunt, nisi si ad quae se ipse paravif. (802-804) 

1 Compare Cicero's 4 animus . . . se tntendens ' in (a) above. 




et tamen in rebus quoque apertis noscere possis, 
st non adverta* ammum, proinde esse quasi omni 
tempore semotum fuent longeque remotum. (811-813) 

It is clear in the fir6t place that none of these passages (except the 
last, which has no phrase which can be a direct translation of iirtySoX^ 
tifi SiaWas) is concerned with the direct mental apprehension of 
subtle images. Tohte 1 therefore, who restricts ivifiokri -rrp Siavaiat to 
this sense, though he admits that the Latin ammt tntec/us, &c, is a 
translation of Epicurus' term, yet concludes that ' Lucretius and Cicero 
have used these expressions in another sense from that in which 
Epicurus used the corresponding Greek'. But Giussani* has rightly 
insisted that the very oddness of the Latin phrases, the coincidence 
between the expressions of Cicero and Lucretius, and the occurrence 
of Cicero's term in a passage where he is obviously following his 
Epicurean text carefully, will make 11 certain that the Latin expressions 
were an intentional and careful translation of Epicurus' technical term. 
Giussani, who of course approached the whole problem from the point 
of view of Lucretius, was in fact largely influenced by the apparent 
width of ideas embraced m these Laitn passages to conclude that 
iiriftoki) tt}s Siavoias is a wide term for 'mental representation in 
general'. As we have seen, that contention will not hold and must 
be limited. Is there anything in these Latin passages which is 
inconsistent with our general conclusion about the ivifioX^ ? 

In (a) and (t>) the idea is the same, the ' projection of the mind ' 
into the infinity of space : here we have exactly the notion of the 
fcrijSoXij, as we have explained it : it is the mental examination of 
a scientific concept. The Epicurean parallel is E. § 62. In (c) we 
have a particularly interesting instance of the same idea : we can have 
an «ri/JoAiJ of the colourless atoms, for again it is an image based on 
irp6ki)\j/K {notttiam, 11. 745, is always Lucretius' technical translation of 
wpoXiji/'is). In (d) I think Wmckelmann's emendation cannot be right, 
for we should not have an i-n-ifioXt) tt)s StaWas of ' animals ' either as 
a direct mental apprehension of a subtle image, or as a scienUfic 
concept (though we might of course have an ordinary TrpoXrjfis of 
' animal '). Lucretius would more naturally have said simply, ' look at 
animals', as he practically does in n. 342 ff. If mice mtntem is right, it 
is a loose use of the phrase. Finally, in («) we have an instance without 
a technical term of the general idea of the e«rt/3oX^ tt)s Stavotas in the 
primary sense of the apprehension of subtle (ttnvia) images. 

It may fairly be said then that the Latin passages, so far from 
creating any difficulty or being in any way inconsistent with Epicurus' 
phraseology, strongly confirm the general view we have taken, and 
especially the second sense of emfSoXri nyy huxvoias as the apprehen- 
sion of a Bcveirti&cany verified concept 


The authenticity of the Epistle to Pythocles appears to have been 
a matter of doubt even in antiquity, as we learn from a note 1 of 
Philodemus, the Epicurean, found among the rolls of Herculaneum. 
The work itself, as Usener has clearly shown,' strongly confirms this 
suspicion. The sections dealing with different topics are not united, 
as are those m the other epistles, by any link of thought or even by 
the familiar introductory phrases &c. : their 

order is unsystematic, and the stars are dealt with twice in §§ 90-98 
and §§ 111-115, the latter passage being added as an afiei thought. 
We may add that the style is neither the highly technical and crabbed 
writing of the first letter, nor the polished and more elaborate diction 
of the third, but a slipshod composition suggestive of abridgement. 
It might perhaps be answered to Usener's objections that the subjects 
with which the letter deals do not admit of much co-ordination, and are 
always put together in Epicurean documents 111 a rather haphazard 
manner, as in the sixth book of Lucretius the double treatment of 
the stars, too, is not a greater dislocation than we find in the text of 
the first letter, as we now have it. But in fact the letter throughout 
bears the clearest marks of being an abridged compilation from some 
larger work, the gist of Epicurus' teaching being put down rather 
hastily into a small compass Yet, as Usener has himself shown, this 
very fact allows us to place complete confidence in the authority, if 
not the authenticity, of the letter we may be confident that, with the 
exception of the introduction, we have the exact teaching and in many 
cases probably the exact w ords of the Ma&ter himself. The letter is 
not of such great interest as the other two, either in the subjects 
treated or the manner of treatment, but it helps greatly, when com- 
pared with the sixth book of Lucretius, to fill in the details of the 
Epicurean system 

Pythocles, to whom the letter is addressed, was a young dis- 
ciple of great *beauty, of whom Epicurus was very fond. He thought 
him, we are told," a sort of Alcibiades, and a fragment of a 
letter addressed to him speaks of Epicurus waiting for ' the coming 
of his lovely and godlike presence'. 4 In another place 6 we find 

1 VoVl Hercul co\U alt , \ 1, f. 152 inro\p[ia.]v nv[d XalfiBdvMv , an **pi rivanr 
i*toToh\Giv] Kal ttjs Tlv6]oK\ia v\t\pi \jit]Tt(uptuv imTO^Tjs. 

1 pp JUCXVll-xll. 

* Alctphro, Ep 11 3 'A\Kif5ia6r)v Ttva UvBoxKia votii^tt. 

* Fr. 34 ica0ttovfiai •npoffZoKwv rffv ififpr^v ital la&Qtov trov titro&ov. 

* Fr. 33 vaiiday SI vaaav, nwcaptt, <pcvy* Taxdriov ap&fuvoi. 

S 2 * 


Epicurus adjuring him to 'unmoor his bark and flee from all cul- 
ture ', in the idea doubtless that he should give himself up to the study 
of Epicurean philosophy. A letter to Idomeneus 1 addresses him appa- 
rently as a sort of guardian of Pythocles, and suggests that his conduct 
needed control. It was then natural that he should be selected by 
the compiler as the recipient of this letter. 

Introduction (§§ 84-88). 

The introduction is, no doubt, the work of the compiler, and is 
closely modelled in thought and diction on the introductions to the 
other letters, but by an occasional strange word or phrase seems to 
show that it is not by Epicurus himself. §§ 84, 85 are the usual 
epistolary opening, the request from Pythocles for a treatment of 
ra fifrtwpa and Epicurus' consent, together with the hope that it will 
be of value to other disciples as well : all this might be suggested by 
the opening of the letter to Herodotus 

§ 84. r. K\iav is otherwise unknown, and is possibly a quite 
imaginary person. 

2. 8ie-rA«ts . . . In-cipu • of course epistolary imperfects. 

3. «Is fian<ipi.oK ploy, ' to a life of happiness ', which results from the 
knowledge of, and obedience to, the Epicurean philosophy ■ cf. to 
ftaKopiun fijv, Ep. lii, § 128, &c. 

4. 8ia\oyicrfi.£ii< : cf. SiaXoyur/xov and SiaXoyia-ftaTa below, but other- 
wise not an Epicurean word, and suggestive rather of other schools of 
philosophy in which discussion and dialectic played a larger part. 

5. irepi Twf fie-rcupwf ' the phenomena of the sky ' : a regular term in 
Epicurus of wide connotation, including not merely what we should 
now call meteorology, but astronomy and, indeed, all the phenomena 
of the sky, and certain subterranean phenomena as well ; cf. e.g. 
K. A. x, xi. 

cAircpiypa^oK, ' easy to be drawn in outline ' or ' sketched ' Again 
otherwise unknown in Epicurus. 

8. Batrrd£«is : the MSS. have /Jaora^eiv, which would, of course, 
continue the construction of thai, but is made impossible by the 
parenthetical is l^>rp. The choice lies between Casaubon's /Ja(rra£«« 
and Usener's /Wrdfovri, and in spite of the prevalence of epistolary 
imperfects, the simpler emendation is the better ; it is adopted by 
Bignone and von der Muehll. The literal meaning ' yo J u have in your 
hands ', for purposes of study, is more probable than the derivative 
' you carry in your mind ', which would hardly be possible without 
some addition. Crbnert proposes the more violent change to 
K&Svyaroy . . . fiatrrufcta'. 

9. auKcax^&nixcf : 1. e 'lam constrained ' by the great hopes I have 
of your future to accede to your request. 

1 Fr. 38 (I fioiXtt w\oiaiov Hv$oie\la -rotrftreu, ftfj XPVP* 1 ™' vpoarlBtt, -rijs Si 
ImSvuias &<palpti. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 84-85 

§ 85. 1 . t& Xonrd ir<lvTa, ' all my other writings ', a slightly odd 
■expression, which would not however be improved by Usener's sugges- 
tion ra XtiTrovra. 

4. <J>uCTioXoyi'as : Epicurus' regular technical term for the knowledge 
of nature and natural laws : cf. Ep. 1, § 37, 1 a ; K. A. xi. 

Y«j<r£ou, ' genuine i.e. the Epicurean science as opposed to any 

toIs its dox°Mas . . {fHreirXcyfili'ois, ' for those involved too deeply 
{jr. to have time for full philosophical study) m one of the routine 
occupations'. For iyKvicXia. in this sense cf. Fr. Ivm tov Trtpi to. 

iyKVuXia. Kal ttoXltiko. 8€<Tfiu}Tr)piov. 

6 ireptA&eue, ' go through from point to point' A good Epicurean 
word: cf. Ep 1, § 36, 1 IO rr)t crvve)(ov<: tuiv oXntv irtpioStiat. 

7. Iv tq fiixpa iiriTO/if irpis 'HpdSoTOi' dircaTCiXap.Ef . an attempt to 
link on this letter with the first that suggests doubts as to its genuine- 
ness. It is interesting to find that as early as the composition of this 
letter — in the first or second generation of Epicurus' pupils — the letter 
to Herodotus was known as the fj-ixpa i-n-irofjjr) in distinction to the 
fj.tydX.ri iTn.TOfj.ri, which was probably a more complete but less elaborate 
exposition of the whole system, intended for novices. Bignone notes, 
however, that in the Vita Epicuri, § 1 35, a passage is quoted as from 
the fJuKpa iTTiTOfir/ which does not occur in the letter to Herodotus . 
tins throws some doubt on the identification. It was the fitydXr) 
iirnofj-r) in all probability which was used by Lucretius see Giussani, 
vol. 1, p. 10. 

§§ 85-87 are concerned with the purpose of this investigation of the 
phenomena of the sky and the principles of its conduct. The sections 
are entirely based on two main ideas and their interconnexion, and 
are modelled both in diction and subject on §§ 78-80 of the letter 
1o Herodotus (1) The purpose of this branch of inquiry, as of all 
others in the Epicurean philosophy, is to prepare the way for the 
tranquil life so long as we have any disquieting suspicion that the 
movements of the stars 01 phases of the weather are due to divine 
action and portend or express the attitude of divine beings to men, we 
cannot live undisturbed : we must learn that they are all caused by 
the action of natural law (2) In the method of inquiry we shall find 
a difference from the procedure employed in ethics and m the explana- 
tion of earthly phenomena. In both those spheres it is possible to 
trace any given effect to us one single cause, but in dealing with ra 
lieribipa. we shall often have to suggest several causes for the same 
phenomenon — and this for two reasons firstly, that in these greater 
phenomena of nature there often is more than one cause which can 
produce the same effect , secondly, that, as we are not able to observe 
them as closely as earthly phenomena, we cannot be sure of the 
exact cause in any given case. We must then be ready to accept any 
probable explanation, provided it does not conflict with the data of 
sense- perception. But this plurality of causes need not .cause us any 



disturbance — and here the two ideas draw together — for it is not due 
to any arbitrariness or uncertainty in the sequence of occurrences, 
or to any breach m the laws of nature, but merely to the natural 
difference of the phenomena themselves and our relation to 
them. These two notions are repeated ad nauseam throughout the 

At the end of § 87 Epicurus proceeds more closely to the question 
of method, and says that we must use the analogy of earthly pheno- 
mena to explain the heavenly, but never in doing so lose sight of the 
exact sense-impression which the phenomena m question makes 
upon us. 

9. . . . voftlltiv this direct general prohibition with p.r\ and the 
infinitive is not characteristic of Epicurus' own style: he would usually 
say ov Sit vofiifav or ov voixunlov. For this reason Kochalsky pro- 
posed to alter ix, which Usener regards as suspecium, to €ikos. But 
/X17 (not ol) makes this impossible, and also invalidates Bignone's 
explanation that we should understand Sti or Wai-ov or ivSixerai. 

10. icotA (Tuya^-qy, 'in connexion' with the other doctrines of the 
system, physical or moral : see below for the distinction which 
Epicurus makes. For the expression cf. § 88, 1. 2 to. o-wa7n-d/j.e»<a 


adTOTcXus, ' independently ', as a department by themselves. For 
the general idea of the ultimate moral purpose of all physical investiga- 
tion cf. Ep 1, § 82, 1. I f) 8e arapaiLa. to tovtwv -tto.vth>v a.woX«A.iJO-#ai xrk. 

and K. A. xi. Bignone notes the supremacy of the moral interest in 
philosophy after the time of Aristotle 

§86. 1. (*^ Te : notice the very slight connexion. As Usener 
remarks, Epicurus himself would have wntten hrttra. fir/rt Kochalsky 
would transfer *al from after ASvva-rov before 

to doiWroy itot -rropaPtdteo^at, ' to try actually to force that which i& 
impossible ', 1 e. to force on phenomena an explanation derived from 
prejudice, but inconsistent with the evidence of the senses. An 
expression quite in Epicurus' manner, the sense of which is resumed 
in &£i<o/xa.Ta Ktva Kai vofJ-odtaCas below, 1. 9. 

Kai is a little forced, and is omitted in several of the MSS. Crbnert 
would expunge it, and Bignone thinks that it attached a second 
adjective which has fallen out, and would read «at (a7rpaicrov), * and 
would not lead to practical results '. I think Kai may be retained as 
emphasizing irapa/?ia£eo-0ai. 

2. toIs rrepi p£«e Xoyois, ' the theories on various types of lives 
i.e. on ethics. The expression is odd, but doubtless intended as 
a link with Epicurus' treatise, Utpl £iW (cf. D. L. x. 27 30) . this 
again seems to point to a compiler. 

3. tAk SXXwf ^uo-iituf irpoBXi-jfid-rw : i.e. the problems of earthly 
phenomena and the problems of the SBrjXa concerning the ultimate 
composition of the universe, in both of which there is only one 
right explanation. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 85-87 


3. tuidapcnr, * explanation ' clearing up ', a very unusual use, but 
paralleled just below, § 87. 4, by iKKa&atpofLtvw. 

4. Sti t& itok . . . : a quotattbn from Ep 1, § 39, 1. 7. 

uuifioTo . the MSS. have tr£>fia, and the passage in Ep. i is not 
decisive owing to a lacuna, but Epicurus elsewhere always uses 
o-wjULTa in the plural. The atomic theory does not conceive of matter 
as one body, but an infinite number of bodies. We should, therefore, 
accept Usener's correction. 

Avo4>4)s <|»j<rt$ : sc the void. Cf. Ep 1, § 40, I. 2, and note there. 

5ti aTOfia (rd) <rroix e "> : cf. Ep. 1, § 41, 1. i. Usener's insertion of 
the article is necessary. 

5. tA ToiauTa 5aa is Bignone's correction for the MS ri roiavra 
rj Sa-a • this seems better than Usener's omission of tj, which it is hard 
to account for. 

3<ra fio^axV ?x €t • • ■ > 4 all things that have only one method of 
harmony with phenomena', i.e. can only be explained in one way 
which is consistent with the evidence of the senses. 

7. TrX.eoKaxV ^x €t ytvdvtttt alriav not ' have a complex 
cause of birth ', but ' several possible causes of birth ' ; see introductory 
note above, and compare Ep. 1, § 80, 1. 10 irXtoi'a^ois ylvfrai. 

8. Trjs ouaias . . . Kanrjyopiai', ' an account of its existence '. «arrj- 
yopta is again not a normal word in Epicurus, though he uses the 

9. d|iup.ara K«c<t, 'propositions assumed without ground', 1 e. a 
prion statements not founded on the evidence of the senses : so Ktv6<; 
always in Epicurus ; e g k€vt}s So^t/s, § 87, 1 2, below, and K. <\. xv, 


ropoOecnas • similarly the ' laying down of principles ' before inquiry. 

§ 87. 1 rfii\ dXo-yios has the best MS authority, but B and other 
MSS. read iSiaXoyi'as, which may conceal tSioXoyias in the sense 
of ' personal prejudice ', which would not be unlike Epicurean lan- 
guage. With the text as it stands rjSi] means ' now that we have 
learnt the right method '. 

■2. tou &0opu£u$ . . . lijir is of course the Epicurean ideal of life. So 
in the corresponding passage, Ep. 1, § 80 irapaKrijcrat, &TapaKTrj< 

3 irdira . . . -yiveTai dvcurrus corresponds to to d<?opv/3<»s . . . fcrjv : 
the ideal is fulfilled, and all life runs without disturbance. 

■card irdVi-uv (t£c) . . . ^KKaOaipofilfw with some hesitation I have 
adopted the emendation of Bignone, ' all goes without disturbance in 
regard to all of the phenomena explained in several wa>s in harmony 
with our experience, when one admits convincing explanations of 
them ' : 1 e. if you once accept the principle that all convincing 
explanations must be admitted, then you can have the Same drapa^ta 
with regard to the celestial phenomena as you can have in morals and 
earthly phenomena. HP J Q have irav ru>v and the other MSS. have 
Kara. TravT<Dv without the article, which will not stand. Bignone'a 
reading involves an unusual meaning of mro with the genitive, but 


is better than the alternative Kara trav t£>c. Usener alters Kara to kouL, 
'even when all things are explained in several ways', but that is 
against Epicurus' teaching, for he only admits such plural explanations 
in regard to celestial phenomena. Cronert would omit Kara, making 
the construction an awkward genitive absolute. 

6. KaraXiirn, ' leaves undisturbed ', does not try to get rid of it : so 
LttoKLidq in the next clause as opposed to iKpaXg. 

8. iit\ . . . toc y.06ov, ' to superstition ', for the characteristic of the 
religious explanation of phenomena is that it asserts one theory to the 
exclusion of all others, and claims certainty where it cannot be attained 
by reason. 

vrjpcia, ' indications ' earthly phenomena cannot give us certain 
explanations of heavenly phenomena, but they can afford hints and 
analogies, which we can follow up. 

9. 8* in'i : Usener's text, which, on the whole, seems the best solu- 
tion. The MSS. are divided between 8c n, from which Usener's 
conjecture is derived, and 8e two., which would just construe, though 
the repetition of nva jU9t below would be very awkward Bignone 
conjectures 8t iri(#a)va, carrying on the idea of to n-i(WoXoyovju.evov in 
1. 5, but this is going very far away from the text. 

ro. jj . a brilliant correction of Woltjer's for the meaningless y of 
the MSS. 

Kai oi t4 . . , ^aiy6\uva . almost concessive in effect, ' though we 
cannot observe celestial phenomena '. The clause would certainly be 
made easier by Cronert's ovx (based on F's ovrots), but the change 
is not necessary. 

§ 88. 1. to . . . <J>dtTacr|xe» : the actual appearance of the phenomena 
in sense-perception. 

iKdcrrou : there seems no raason for accepting the conjecture m 
Usener's note Ikocttov, which is derived from the cxdo-rwv of Froben's 

TrjpTjTcW, ' must be kept to ', a favourite word of Epicurus' in this 
sense : cf. Ep. i, § 38, 1. 4 Kara, ras al<r&ri<Tti<t Sti TraWa T7)ptiv. A 
good instance of this principle is Epicurus' theory that sun and moon 
are actually the size we see them ; al<T$r)<ri<; here gives us information 
and we must not try to get behind it. 

■ecu iirl t& owaTmSfieca . . . nXcomx&s aurrcXeurOiu : lit. ' and as re- 
gards what is associated with the actual appearance we must distinguish 
those things of which there is no evidence in our experience against 
several causes '. to. crwaTTroficva are the opinions {Trpocr&o$a£6fMtva) 
which we associate with the actual perception of sensation. In deal- 
ing with celestial phenomena we must distinguish those opinions, 
which may all simultaneously be true, from those which are certainly 
true or certainly false. This is Bignone's explanation of the passage, 
and I have little doubt that it is right. Usener reads fVi for cVl and 
puts a comma at Suupertov, 'we must distinguish from the actual 
appearance that which is associated with it, and of which there is no 

COMMENTARY. §§87-88 


evidence against several causes '. But this is not so satisfactory, since 
among the 0-uva-nro/u.cva of an appearance there may be some where 
there is no question of several opinions. 

2. ft o6k drrifiapTupctrai : another technical expression of Epicurus' : 
vre must bring our several explanations to the test of our experience 
and reject any which are refuted by it : there may still be several left 

I. Worlds. 

The compiler of the letter plunges at once into the physical theory 
of Epicurus, and deals first with the nature and formation of worlds 
As he is obviously putting together his account from different sources 
(sometimes apparently from the letter to Herodotus), the result is 
a little disjointed and here and there obscure But we are not justified 
m rejecting as glosses statements, for which there is good evidence 
elsewhere, on the ground that they do not fit in very well with the 
context (see notes on lines 5 and 6). A world is first defined as 
a circumscribed portion of sky : then its boundaries and shape are 
discussed. We are next told that there are infinite worlds, and their 
creation and growth are described with comments on certain false 
theories. AH these are well-known Epicurean topics, and the details 
will be better discussed in the individual notes. §§ 45, 73, and 74 of 
the letter to Herodotus should be compared together with Lucr. 11. 
1048-1174 and v. 416-508, 534-563 

4. K(5<Tfios Epicurus' conception of a ' world ', like that of all 
ancient philosophers, was of a s>stem in which the earth was the 
centre, and around it moved in orbits ever more distant, moon, sun, 
planets, and stars, the circumference of heaven forming the outer 
boundary. He differed from most of his predecessors in conceiving 
that there was an infinite number of such koV/aoi besides our own. 

irepiox^ tis ouparoG: i.e. a certain portion of sky circumscribed by 
a boundary (rrt/oas) 

fio-rpa : including sun and moon as well as stars • cf. § 90, 1. 6 ^Aios 
re kol a-ekrjvr) ko.1 to \011ra atrrpa. Lucretius similarly uses astra in 
an inclusive sense, v. 509. 

yfji', ' an earih ', a body like our earth to be the centre of the system. 

5. irrfira t& <t>aif<5p.<><a : both astronomical and meteorological; in 
fact, those with which he deals in the rest of this letter. 

5, 6. From this point the rest of the sentence is very confused m 
the MSS. it runs a.Trorop.y\v vxpvcra. airo rov iirapov kol KaTaXr/yovaa. 
tv trepan f) dpattji r) ttuctu kol ov Avo/xtvov 7ravTa to. iv avrZ crvyxycriv 
A-^erai ko1 Xrjyavcra. tj iv wtpua.yofi.ivy . . irtpLypa<f>rjv. It is, I think, 
clear that this has been put together from various sources, but we are 
not justified in assuming with Usener (who expunges koX KaraXrjyovo-a 
. . . rj irvKvii and Kal ov kvofttvov . . . krjtf/trai as two separate glosses) 
that the composition was affected by any one other than the original 
compiler of the letter. It is surely more reasonable to suppose some 


dislocation, ov XvofUvov . . . kri^trat is clearly part of the definition 
and should come first : then follow certain descriptive participial 
clauses, (i) of its nature aw-oro/ii/i' . awtlpov, (2) of its boundary xa.1 
KaraXr/yowTa. . . . trraxriv jf^cwri, (3) °^ shape kcu o~rpoyyvXr)v . . . 

vtpiypatprjv. kcu Xj/youo-a then, which occurs in the MSS. after 
Xiji/rcroi, should be omitted as a mere repetition of kcu KaTaXrjyowra 
above caused by the misplacement of the clause ov Xvopivov . . . 
Xtpl/trai, and a participle (f^otio-a) must be supplied with the last 
clause. We thus obtain a consistent and reasonable statement, and 
are not excluding phrases which add much force to the description. 
Bignone follows Usener in excluding the two clauses, but notes that 
they hang closely together . it is because the worlds have a definite 
boundary that their dissolution implies the destruction of all within 

5. ou Xuoplfou . . Xtjij/cTai. • i.e. the -n-c/no^ij is not any casual piece 
of sky ' cut off ', but an organized whole, the dissolution of which implies 
disturbance in all its parts. The masculine ov goes back, slightly 
irregularly, to koo>los in spite of the intervening irtpu>xrj. 

6. diroTo^f exouua . . .: i.e. it is a portion cut off from the infinite 
universe. This idea had been already stated by Leucippus • D. L ix. 

31 ytvtcrdai Si tov« koctjiovs ovt<i> tfttpccrOai mr' d-iroTopvrjv Ik rjjs arrtlpov 
(sc. tf>v<Tt<as) oroXXa crutfiara, iravToTa. rots'iv ets /J-eya Ktvov. For 

awoTOfiTjv i^ovco equivalent practically to a.wor/j.f]6(la-a cf. crrdcriv 

l^OVTl, 1. 8 

7. kcu KaTa\T)Y oucra i" iripan : i.e. a world has a quite definite 
boundary : cf. Ep. 1, § 73, 1. 7 rovs Kotr/xovq . . . kcu Tracrav <rvyKpuriv 

i) ipaiu f) iruKKu this boundary may m its composition be either 
dense or rare : that of our world, the ' flammantia moenia mundi ' (Lucr. 
1. 73), is rare : cf. Aetius 11 7 3, p 336 d (Usener, fr 303) "En-iKovpos 


rwa. Kirov fJitva ra 8' Slkivt/to.. 

i\ iv iTtpia.yoji.4iHi) i) tv tn&aw i^ovrt. . the outer circumference may 
either move round, as most probably, according to Epicurus, does 
that of our world (§ 92), or be stationary . cf. the passage from Aetius 
just quoted. Gassendi corrected the MS. error Ivaraa-iv to lv oracnv. 

8. kcu o-rpoyyu\-r\v . . . ircpiypcutf ^ : for this possibility of variation 
in the shape of worlds cf. Ep 1, § 74, 1. 1 tn Si kcu rov% koo>ovs ovrc 
i£ avayicrp; Set vofil^tw Iva o-yyjpM.TKTfi.6v fyovras . . : and the scholion 
on that passage, ovs p.iv yap cr<pa.ipotLSt2<i y kcu uJotiScis cTXXovs, ical 
&Wouxrxrjf*-ova<; trtpovs. Bignone notes that the Pythagoreans con- 
ceived of a triangular world and Empedocles of an egg-shaped world. 

9. (?xoiktci) : the only alternative to inserting a participle here seems 
to be to read Kara a~rpoyyv\rjv for kcu crrpoyyvXrjv as does the Tauchnitz. 
text. But though the confusion of kcu' and Kara, is very frequent in 
these MSS., the sense is unnatural, and the sentence becomes sail more 
incoherent. Usener and Bignone follow the MSS. with no alteration, 

COMMENTARY §§ 88-89 

»8 3 

constructing jr«piypa<pijv presumably after Ixovri, but this is very 
awkward and hardly sense : a 71-cpac cannot have a Tctptypaiffq 

tratraxus : including, I think, all the previously mentioned alterna- 
tives, the density or rareness and movement or stationary character of 
eth Tripos, as well as the varieties of shape. The variant iratn-a^oS is 
a mere error. 

10. tuw yAp ^aivoykivuv ... an application of the principle above, 
1. 2 & ovk avTLfLapTvptXraL rots Trap' f)pXv <f>aivop.cvois TrXtova\uK (rvvrt- 

Xdcrdau. Though our world has a wipaf which is apatov and wtpiayo- 
fitrov, and is in shape crcpaipoct&i/s, there is no evidence that there are 
not elsewhere worlds in which these details differ. 

(iv) t<f&€ a necessary correction of Usener's for the MS. riS«. 

11. XrjYoi' ouic Jori KaTaXaPele . we cannot advance to the end of 
the world and ourselves perceive its nature : KaroAa/JtTv here of sense- 

§ 89. 2. iloir aircipoi ri tt\t)8os ' SO Ep. 1, § 45, 1 3 aXXa p.i]v k i 

Kotrp.01 wn-ttpoi tlo-Cv, which may be the source on which the compiler 
draws . but the idea is an Epicurean commonplace . cf. Lucr. 11. 1048- 

KaTa\aj3eiv . here of mental perception we can quite well picture it 
in our mind, and, as Lucretius shows (loc. cit.), can adduce many 
reasons to prove it must be so. 

3. iv K<Sap<d a curious idea, which I do not know elsewhere : a new 
world might form itself within an existing world, presumably as the 
old world dissolved. 

4. Ktu {iv) : the addition seems necessary, and Usener had already 
suggested k&v in his notes 

ficraico<rp.iw : a famous technical word of Epicurus' There being 
in the universe all these k6(t/jloi of various shapes, there must be 
intervals between them, in which new worlds might be formed It 
was in the (jLtraKoo-fita that Epicurus placed the abodes of the gods . 
Cicero, die Nat. Deor. i 8 18, translates the word by inlermundta. 

iv itoXukIpw t&tu : it would be a place in which there was much 
void, but not entire void, for there is no large space of that character 
in the universe : Leucippus then (nw's) was wrong in believing it to be 
a ' great space of pure void ' cf. p.tya kcvov in the passage quoted 
above on § 88, 1. 6 

5. iv peydXu elXiicpiKei, sc rdiro>. There 13 no need with Zeller to 
write iv /iryaXo) nai tWixpivti k«vw. Bignone notes the difficulties 
which arose because the atomists did not sufficiently distinguish 
between space = extension and empty space The phrase ptydXy cI\l- 
Kpivci Kai Ktv$ is an attempt to express the latter, like Lucretius' ' locus 
mtactus, inane, vacansque', 1. 334. 

6. nvis Casaubon's correction for nvo, an obvious error 
iTrmjSeiwe thw . . . The Epicurean theory of the formation of 

a world many conditions are requisite besides the mere aggregation 
of atoms in a void : (a) they must be atoms of the right kind to form 

ii. npos nreoKAEA 

combinations, &c. ; (6) they must be capable of uniting (*-pootf6r«s) and 
forming organized bodies (SiapOfxoo-tis) and causing changes of posi- 
tion ; (<•) they must be able to supply the right material to the right 

8. irpoe0&rcis : the juxtapositions of matter which are creative of 

StapOpweit, 'articulations', i.e. they must be able to form bodies 
which are organized: Bignone takes it -to mean more definitely 'con- 
nexions *, but it implies the notion of separation as well as that of union. 

fiCToordcrcit : the moving of portions of matter to their appropriate 
places, e. g. of the fiery materials to the sky, where they can form the 
heavenly bodies and ether. 

9 ^irap8eucr£is, ' irrigations not merely of liquid material, but of 
the constant supply of appropriate material to the appropriate quarter. 
The whole description should be compared with Lucr. v. 449-494, 
and especially with ii. 1112-1119, where the diction is very like that 
here : 

nam sua cuique locis ex omnibus omnia plagis 

corpora distnbuuntur et ad sua saecla recedunt, 

umor ad umorem, terreno corpore terra 

crescit et ignem ignes procudunt aetheraque aether, 

donee ad extremum crescendi perfica finem 

omnia perduxit rerum natura creatnx , 

ut fit ubi nilo 1am plus est quod datur intra 

vitalis venas quam quod fluit atque recedit. 

ro. Zi»s Te\ei<£o-e<us, 'until the period of completion*. Epicurus 
held that with worlds so with bodies there was a process of gradual 
growth, new material being always absorbed, unul a limit of comple- 
tion was reached, and from that time began the process of decay, in 
which more was given off than taken in : cf. Lucr. 11. 1105-1174. 

■cat BiafjuoKirjs, ' and stability ' : Epicurus recognized such a period 
between those of growth and decay. It is unnecessary to follow 
Usener in altering to Suj./aoviJv (sc ttoiovvtw), which is very awkward 
in construction. 

1 r. t& fliropXr)86Ta 0cp.&ia : the atomic foundations on which the 
world is built : i.e. the original nuclei which uniting in their turn 
formed ' things '. 

tV trpoaSox*)*" Wcarat iroicurfai ■ i.e. as long as they are capable of 
assimilating new material. See Lucr. u. Ioc cit., and particularly 

§ 90. 1. 06 y&P Aflpourjii* Bel p.6vov . a mere aggregation of atoms 
in a void, such as Leucippus had supposed, is not sufficient to make 
a world : the atoms must have these other characteristics, which will 
produce the proper unions, and enable the process of assimilation to 
take place. 

o66c 8ifoc : he passes from Leucippus to Democritus, tu>v <f>wriK<Z>v 

COMMENTARY. §§ 89-90 


KaXovfUvwv t«, who thought that a world was produced mechanically 
by an atomic whirl, caused in its turn by hiB convenient ' maid-of-all- 
work ' AyayKif, acting thus in a purely arbitrary manner : Epicurus 
thus asserts his independence of both his predecessors in the atomic 

2. kot4 ri Sojatfycvor, 'according to the mere fancy of the 
imagination '. Democntus' supposition of the whirl created by dcayjoj 
rests on no evidence of the senses, and it is directly opposed to 
<ftaiv6fi€va {see below), it was an a£iw/ia Ktvav koi vofaoOta-ia Epicurus 
had of course anoLher quarrel with Democntus' notion of dvaym; in 
the region of morals. 

3 ad£c<r6ai -rt : we must supply rbv novfuov. Democntus' notion 
apparently was that the whirl went on gradually increasing in size by 
the assimilation of external particles, until it grew so big as to come 
into collision with another world, and then followed destruction : cf. 
Hippol. 565* 13 a <jj6((pt<r6ai Si clvtovs vir dAAiyAiov Trp<xr7rc7rTorras 

tS»> <t>uaiKUf : said contemptuously, ol tf>va%Koi, for Epicurus, are 
the earlier cosmologists, whom he associates with the unbending appli- 
cation of ivaymj, and therefore with determinism, cf. Ep. ni, § 134. 1 
eiret Kptirrov rjv tG ir€p\ 6twv fLvdi^j KaraKoXovOtiv rj rfj Tu>v tpva-ucmv 
fl/jMp/jLtyy 8ov\cv€iv: but he is always thinking principally of 

4. touto y&p . . . toIs ^acKO|i^»>oif : this might he very diffi- 
cult to explain, if we had not got the illuminating passage at the 
end of Lucr. li, for of course we have no sense-evidence of the 
creation and destruction of worlds. Epicurus clearly refers to 
the analogy of the growth of bodies, where we see the process of 
assimilation up to a point, after which decay sets in owing to the 
excess of matter lost over that taken in. 

II. The Heavenly Bodies. 

The second mam section of the letter, which extends to § 99, deals 
with the heavenly bodies as constituent parts of their respective worlds. 
A variety of points is dealt with in the order traditional m Epicurean 
works. The epitome is very bnef, but can be supplemented from 
other Epicurean sources, and especially from the fifth book of 
Lucretius. The general ideas are founded on the notions of 
Epicurus' predecessors, and particularly of Democntus, but there 
are many characteristic additions and alterations. It is hardly neces- 
sary to add that the whole conception is geocentnc 

( a ) (<*) § 80 - 6-11 deal Wlt ' 1 'he creation and constitution of the 
heavenly bodies. They were not independently formed and then 
included in a world, but were gradually fashioned inside the world, as 
appropriate bodies were linked on to them . these bodies were rare in 
texture, and of the nature of wind or fire. All these are doctrines of 
the Atomic School. « 


ii. npos nreoKAEA 

6. t4 Xonr4 Surrpa : the sun and moon being themselves included as 
iarpa, as in § 88, 1. 4, above. 

(oi) is an old and necessary addition : the sentence must have been 
negative, as is shown by &XX' (1. 7), and proved by our general know- 
ledge of Epicurus' theories. Bignone has pointed out that there is no 
real contradiction between this passage and De Placitit, i. 4 (Usener, 
fr. 308), in which the air is said av/xirtptXa/ajffavciv to. axrrpa in its 
rotation: this does not necessarily imply that they were originally 
outside the Kotrftos- 

ko8* iourd, ' independently outside the Koo-ftot. 

>j. For lhe gloss after rov Koo-fiov see note below 

8. cuOuc, ' from the start ', i.e from the origin of their own existence 
and that of the mjo-/aos : as soon as a world was formed, the heavenly 
bodies began to be created in it. cf Lucr. v. 443-454- 

TrpwKptutis : a technical term of Anaxagoras, here used exactly in 
his sense, and possibly with intentional reminiscence. From the 
original chaos bodies of like texture were separated out ((cp«ris) and 
joined one another (wpos) • cf. Lucr. v. 443 sq. • 

diffugere inde loci partes coepere paresque 
cum paribus mngi res et discludere mundum 
membraque dividere et magnas disponere partis. 

9. Sm/jireis, ' vortices ', referring to the independent rotation of the 
revolving nuclei, and not to the 8?vos which causes the movement of 
the heavenly bodies lhrough the sky 

XeirTO(tcpwK, ' of light parts ' the idea being that the lighter bodies 
were ' squeezed out ' between the heavier, which formed the earth, and 
so lifted into the sky to form sun, moon, &c. . cf Lucr. v. 453 . 

expressere ea quae mare sidera solem 
lunamque efficerent et magni moenia mundi. 

irKcufuiTiKWK, ' of the nature of wind ', and therefore volatile, and 
capable of rising- and subsequently performing the revolution. 
Bignone translates ' gaseous ', but that seems to introduce too modern 
an idea. 

10. mipoeiSui', 'of the nature of fire', and therefore capable of 
giving out heat and light. 

^ ato6r|<Tis : perception cannot of course give us any information 
as to the creation of the heavenly bodies nor directly as to their 
composition : but it does show them to us moving through the sky 
and giving out light, and we must therefore infer their nature on Lhe 
analogy of similar phenomena on earth. 

In the course of the sentence at different places in different MSS , 
but in most after toC Koa/wv and avfrfcriv, are found the 
Words kou Sera yt Sri crolfci and ofjMiws Si «al yrj koI OdXaTra. The 
variation of their posiuon in the MSS. would alone justify us m 

COMMENTARY. §§ 90-91 


following Uaener and excluding them as glosses, but the internal 
evidence is also strong, kou 5<ra ye S17 <r<i>£« was an ill-expressed note 
to include, e.g. comets, falling-stars, and other heavenly phenomena, 
which hardly come under the head of to Aoi7ra aarpa, but cr<o£«i is a 
word Epicurus would not have used in this sense. Gassendi's proposal 
to attach the words to the other gloss, ' the earth and the sea and all 
that in them is ', does not help, nor is it improved by Usener's sugges- 
tion crv£jj, and the Tauchnitz reading 5<ra yt &rj £<jki>v is very irrelevant. 
Bignone regards them as continuing the construction of vn-o rov Koo-ftov, 
'by the world and those parts of it which serve as its defence', 
1 e the jlammantia moenia mundt, but this seems very far-fetched. 
Similarly o/Wu>s Si koI yrj kou OdXaxra-a. was meant to note that earth 
and sea too were not an independent creation : this is of course quite 
good Epicurean doctnne, but it cannot have been in the text here, as 
sea and earth are certainly not composed of A.c7rro/«peIs <£vo-«s, ijroi 
■7rvcv]JuiriKa.i rj irvpociStZs. 

(c) § 91. The size of the heavenly bodies is in reality either the 
same or slightly larger or smaller than we see them. This is one of 
the most characteristic of Epicurus' doctrines both in its boldness and 
Us childishness. It was of course based primarily on his complete 
trust in the evidence of sense-perception. We see sun, moon, and 
stars as of a certain size ; we have no right to attempt to go behind 
the evidence of our senses therefore they are that size. But he 
based it also on terrestrial analogies in the case of earthly fires, we 
notice that we cease to feel their heat before they appear through 
distance to diminish in size (Lucr. v 566-573) : but we are very 
conscious of the sun's heat, therefore it has not diminished in 
apparent size Again, the outline of a light becomes blurred before 
it decreases in size . but the moon's outline is not blurred : therefore 
it again has not diminished (Lucr v 579-584). This argument the 
compiler merely alludes to in 1. 5, but it is clearer in the scholiast's 
reference to the eleventh book of the Ilepl oSvo-tu>s . see app. cnt., 
' if its size had been lost through the distance much more would its 
colour have been : for there is no distance better adapted for such loss 
than that of the sun ', 1. e no earthly fire is ever so far away and 
therefore so likely to lose both in size and splendour. 

1. (kch creXrj^s) . an almost certain addition of Usener's • ' Epicurus ' 
would hardly* have written rj\Cov tc kgu twv Xonrmv Atrrptav • cf. § 90, 
1 6, above. 

2. kotA jj.ii> to irpos Tjp.ds . . kcltg\ Si to na(f auTo. At once an 
indication of the line of thought in Epicurus' remarkable decision, and 
an interesting illustration of the whole idea of iTrifiaprvprfcris (see notes 
on Ep. 1, §§ 50, 51, and K A. xxiv). We see the sun a certain size • that 
is its size 7rpos r/fiat : 1. e that is what the sun looks like at the distance 
we are from it, just as a distant tower looks round. Are we then to 
conclude at once that is its size ko.& avro ? No, it is a vpoa-^ivov : we 
must try for iirifjMprvpTja-is. In the case of the tower we can go nearer 

ii. npos nreoKAEA 

to it and see : we cannot do this with the sun, but we can use the 
analogy of terrestrial lights (see introductory note to this section), and 
shall then have confirmatory evidence that naff ovro it is about the 
size we can see it. Bignone takes koto. ... to vpos ^/uas to mean ' as 
far as concerns us ', i.e. as far as it is necessary for our happiness 
to know, but that does not make a natural contrast with to . . . 
Kaff avro. 

jiiv ri . Schneider's correction of iUvtol. 

3. ^cufCTcu : the reference to the eleventh book of the Ilept <ftvo-€u><:, 
which comes in at this point in the MSS., is a very obvious scholium. 
The illustration, which is important, is quoted in the introductory 

^toi petto? . . . : the idea of /Aixpui >s certainly to be supplied with 
l*.c%ov as well as Zkarrov : cf. Lucr. v. 564, 565: 

nec nimio sohs maior rota nec minor ardor 
esse potest, nostns quam sensibus esse videtur. 

And again 590, 591 

After Tt]\iKouTov the MSS. have ofy afua., which I take to be 
merely a note on fiti£ov . . . j) . . ikarrov fj ttjXikovtov, i. e. ' it can't 
be all these three at the same time '. Lachmann, believing it to be a 
corruption of a true reading, proposed tv^w, Usener with more 
probability Tvyxdvti. But no verb is needed, and I believe the words 
are simply a ridiculous comment : so Kochalsky. 

o5tw yap Kol t& irap* -f^Zr irupd . . . would be almost intelligible in 
itself, but is explained by the scholiast's quotation from the Ileot 
<t>vo-&n$ and the parallel passage in Lucr. (see introductory note). 

6. koi n&v Si . . . As usual, what we must do is to look at the clear 
evidence of the senses and not confuse it with Trpoo-lo£a%6ixevo. : cf. 
Ep. i, § 50, &c. 

Jt^mjjia, ' an objection ' : apparently from its occurrence in Sextus 
Empiricus an Epicurean word for the more usual Hvotoo-is. 

7. ivapyqiiaai, ' the clear visions ' uncontaminated with opinion : a 
technical Epicurean word: cf. § 93, 1. 9. 

8 iv tois irepl +wrcus Pi/3\iois : i.e. presumably in Book XI, from 
which the passage quoted by the scholiast is taken. 

(d) §92. 1-8. The rising and setting of the heavenly bodies Two 
possible explanations are given : (ij that of Herachtns, that these 
bodies of light are extinguished at their setting and kindled again each 
day at their rising; (2) that of Anaximenes, that they appeared from 
behind the earth and then were hidden again by the land. Against 
neither of these explanations do phenomena afford any objection, and 
they must therefore be regarded as equally true : the phenomenon is 
one of those which may wXeoyax^ yevecrftu. The alternatives are 
put with almost equal brevity by Lucr. v. 650-655, though in speaking 
of the nature of dawn in the following paragraph he somewhat enlarges 
the ideas. 


a. fiwi+if : cf. Act v.. 20 16 'HpcUAeiros ara/j.pi votpov to Ik 
6aXdrrri% «tvai tok tJXwv. Xenophanes appears to have held the same 
view (cf. Hippol. Ref. i. 1 4). Herachtus' own word is here intentionally 

Usener, thinking that avaip-w and o-pio-iv ought to be closely linked, 
inserts t« after 3yoaptv and omits Kara before o-f3t<riv : but they corre- 
spond exactly to avaroX.a% kol 8uV«s above. The rising is caused by 
the ivcuf/n and the setting by the cr/Stcris, and a too close connexion 
would upset the correspondence. 

3. Suraodai : an or. obi. infinitive, or else prolate after ivhi\trai 
understood : cf. yCvtaOai, § 106. 2. It is not necessary to alter to 
hvvarov with Usener. 

wepioTdo-eus, ' the composition of the surrounding matter ', a 
favourite word of the writers cf § 102. 7, § 104 9. Bignone trans- 
lates ' conditions ', but ihe two passages cited seem to show that the 
word has a more concrete meaning. The idea is explained more 
clearly by Lucretius, v. 660-668. The ' seeds of fire ' gather together 
in the east towards dawn and make themselves into a compact body, 
which is the new sun. It is perhaps worth while noting that this 
theory of Herachtus is quite incompatible with the idea of the gradual 
composition of the heavenly bodies in the growing Koo-fios enunciated 
in § 90. 

4. kol naff JicaWpous rods Tiiirous, ' especially in regard to the two 
places on each occasion', i.e. the places of the daily composition and 
extinction of sun (or moon): there must in the east be an atmosphere 
conducive to its kindling and in the -west to its extinction. Meibom 
early emended to -rpoirovs, which ma.kes the clause meaningless, and 
Usener, adopting his reading, excluded the words as a gloss. Bignone 
shows that the inclusion of the words is essential : one of the objec- 
tions made in antiquity to the theory of Herachtus was that though tt 
was easy to conceive of the extinction of the sun in the western sea, 
it was by no means easy to imagine iis kindling in the east, and 
Lucretius (v 660 ff.) lays special stress on this. There must there- 
fore be the requisite atmospheric composition ' in both places '. 

5. (ical) a necessary addition made by Usener to correspond with 
Kal Kara, ivaif/iv, 1. 2. As so often, it was lost before Kara by 
' haplography '. 

6. jK^tWiuK.. . . imirpo<r8£njoxv. We must remember that the 
early philosophers did not think of the earth as a sphere, and the sun's 
nightly course did not present itself to them as a passing under 
the earth, so much as a passing round behind the lofty ground in 
the north, corresponding to a journey round the southern sky during 
the day-iime. The earth was tilted up to the north and the sun 
went behind it. So Aristotle (Meteor. B. 1. 354 a 28) referring to 

Anaximenes, iroAAoiis iriurBrfvax. to>v ap^cuoiv jjLtT€Uipo\oy<i>v rbv rjXiov 
(AT] <ptpe<T0ai vtto yrjv, aWa. irtpi rrjv yvjv Kal rbv tottov tovtov, acpavi- 
(arfiai Si Kal TrouZv vvxra Sta to v\pr)\rp/ ilvai Trpbi apicrov Tr/V yr/v. 
M7S T " 


ii. npos nr©OKAEA 

li«j>dvtia and brarpoo-Bi-njo-is are again probably technical terms 
borrowed from one of those who held this theory. Some editors have 
doubted the form iT-urpov&lTryTiv and wished to ' restore ' tiwrpocr&rjcriv : 
but it is exactly the kind of form that one would expect to find in one 
of the older philosophers, from whom it is probably quoted. 

(e) §§ 92. 8-93 3. The motions of the heavenly bodies are next 
dealt with and various possible causes suggested. There is an unfor- 
tunate lacuna, which almost certainly contained other explanations 
than the two given we can restore them from the closely parallel 
passage in Lucr. v 509-533 

8. Tds . . . Kin^o-eis - including both the daily revolution and the 
orbit of the heavenly bodies, their apparent path lound the heavens, as 
indicated by ihe successive points of their daily rising. 

oflu aouVa-roy . a rather more tentative statement than usual 

9. Kara tt)c tou 3Xou oupowoG Biktjk : sc the whole heaven moves lound 
in a whirl and takes the heavenly bodies with it This was the theory 
of Anaximenes, who thought (Aet. 11. 2. 4) that the motion of the heaven 
was ' like a mill-stone ' and not ' like a wheel ', 1 e. horizontal and not 
perpendicular : this of course corresponds with his notion of the daily 
revolution of the sun (see note on 1 1, above): cf. Lucr v. 510-516, 
where the possible mechanism of this revolution is more fully 

tootou fiee . . . StVtji' jy the heaven as a whole remains 
stationary, and the individual heavenly bodies perform their circuits 
(cf. Lucr. v. 517-533). This individual motion may again be due to 
various causes, of which the text, as we have it, refers to two. 

10 koto tV . . . i.ydyKYjv . i.e a 'natural law', initiated at the begin- 
ning of the world, causes all the bodies to move in one direction This 
of couise, with its charactei istic assertion of avdyxri, was the theory 
of Democntus, which is explained at greater length by Lucr. v. 
62 1-636 

n. itr' dvaToXfj, ' towards the east' as Lucretius explains, the 
orbit of the heavenly is in reality 111 the reverse direction to 
what it appears to us : for the nearer a body is to the earth the 
slower it moves, the moon slower than the sun, the sun than the 
planets. But when we obseive this motion against the background 
of the fixed stars, it seems to us by a familiar optical delusion that 
tbey are moving in the reverse direction, the moon quicker than 
the sun, the sun than the planets It is possible that this notion was 
explained in the passage lost 111 the lacuna. Bignone translates 
iir avaToXjj, ' for their origin ', but n is surely impossible that the word 
could be used for the original creation of sun and moon . in reference 
to them it could only mean their daily rising. 

§ 88. There is undoubtedly something, probably several lines, lost 
at this point. Lucretius in the parallel passage mentions two other 
possible causes of the individual revolution of the heavenly bodies, 
(1) 519-521, that they were impelled by an internal fire (rying to 

COMMENTARY. §§ 93-94 

escape : this appears to have been the theory of Anaximander, 
(2) 522-523, that they were driven on by an external current of air: 
this was the theory of Anaxagoras (Aet. 11. 2.3. 2). Then we pass on 
to the fourth explanation, which is here left us in a fragmentary 
condiUon. In Lucretius this appears in the form that the bodies 
move on to places where they can find food, i.e are naturally attracted 
to a fresh supply of fuel • this appears to have been the theory of the 
Stoics. The letter has it in a slightly different form, which seems 
more consistent with the theory of the constant rekindling of the 
heavenly bodies : the apparent progress of the stars is really the con- 
stant spread (cTrtvcfi-rjcris) of fire moving on to fresh fuel (we may 
perhaps compare the advance of a spark along a train of gunpowder). 
In this form the theory may certainly be attributed to Heraclilus, who 
held the a.vatj/is (§ 92, 2, note). 

1, * * Tci-rj] Oep|i.acria : the mutilated v,ord must have been a superla- 
tive • possibly, as Usener suggests, cr<f>oSpoTa.rri 

2 fnWfju)onr,' spread ', the verb, too, is so used of fire, e g. Ttvp i-rrtytfjifTo 
to acmi, Hdt. 5 101. Bignone would take the words after the lacuna in 
more direct correspondence with Lucretius' statement. He would 
complete the missing word eVc.n?8£ioTaTr; {tl in the MSS ) and trans- 
lates, ' (it is possible that ihe heavenly body moves through the sky in 
search of the heat) most appropriate to it, and proceeds, as though 
feeding on the fire, successively from place to place '. But apart from 
the questionable meaning assigned to irrive/jirjo-ts, the rendering at the 
end is surely impossible With Ivvtos, which must go with toC wvpos. 

if) § 93 II 3-8 deal with the question of the tropics of sun 
and moon Besides appearing to perform a i evolution, they seem 
also to go up and down in the sky, standing higher in the heavens at 
one part of their orbit than another. The highest and lowest points 
were known as the rpo-n-ai or turning -places, and the problem now 
discussed is really the whole nature of this 'ecliptic', which ranges 
between the tropics Again, various alternatives are presented, which 
correspond closely to the ideas of the causes of motion in the previous 

4. X<5£w«th< oupai-ou • this theory goes closely with the first theory 
in the previous section. If the motions of the heavenly bodies 
are caused by the revolution of the whole heaven, then their 
' obliquity ' muet be due to an ' obliquity ' of the entire sky : 1. e it is 
set at an angle 10 the plane of the earth. This does not however 
appear, as one would expect (see note on § 92 9), to have been the 
theory of Anaximenes, but of Empedocles : it is implied in Luci. 
v. 691-693 . 

propter sigmfen posituram totius orbis, 
annua sol in quo concludit tempora serpens, 
obhquo terras et caelum lumine lustrans. 

■rols %p6vois Konji'ayKao-p.^i'ou, ' constrained by ', or ' in respect to the 

t 2 

ii. npos nrooKAEA 

times ', probably refers to the obvious connexion between the ecliptic 
and the succession of the seasons. 

5. Upo* irriiwiv, ' the contrary thrusting of a current ' : this theory 
goes with that of a stationary heaven and independent orbits : the 
revolution of sun and moon would be in the same plane as the earth, 
but that they are thrust out of their course towards the tropics by 
cross-currents of air. This was the theory of Anaxagoras • cf. Aet. 11. 
23. 2 dn-airuKrti tov Trpbi reus opicToi? itpos, and is fully explained by 
Lucr. v. 637-649. 

ft koX oXtjs . . . 4k\eiitou<7i]s must be taken in connexion with the last 
theory of the movements : the train of fuel along which the fire moves 
lies along this oblique orbit. This then was the theory of the Sioics 
and almost certainly, though we have no authority for it, of Herachtus. 

6. ixopivus, 'successively', Usener's correction of ixoptvois or 
ixo/Ji*VT)s in the MSS. 

tt)s 8* iitXtnroiJons, 'when the other', sc the former fuel, 'fails'. 
I have with hesitation adopted Usener's correction of the MS tt/s 8e 
Ka.TaXtnrova-ri<: There is no trace of an intransitive use of KaTa\fi7rav, 
and it is not likely that KaTakeLirofj.iyri'i (von der Muehll), which is the 
sense required ('being left behind'), should have been altered into 
the active, as might be the case if there were a neighbouring active 

7. ?) koi i£ 4pxTjs . . . kiveict8cu : corresponds to the theory that the 
heavenly bodies were originally set in St^oi by avdyxTj (see note on 
I. 5 above). It is the theory of Democntus, and is in pait set out as 
such, though 111 a paragraph where he has not quite understood his 
own argument, by Lucr v. 621-636. 

aorpois : a good instance of its use for sun and moon. 

8. ol6v nv JXtica the combination of the daily revolution of sun 
and moon with the gradual mounting or descent to the tropics would 
of course produce a spiral movement otov tw\ Usenei , for olov re 

8-13. The section ends with the usual appeal to the principles of 
argument, here with greater elaboration than usual. 

9 ofideri, Usener, for ov&tv, a necessary correction as there is no 
evidence for Biatfciovtiv with the genitive. 

<yapyT)fjuiTWK : cf. § 91. 7. 

10. ptputv, ' subjects', lit. ' departments of inquiry ' ; cf. § 91 6 tts 
tovto to fiipoi. . 

1 a. Avdyeiv is, I think, a slightly more probable correction of the 
dirayeii' of most MSS than B's eirdytiv adopted by Usener. avdytiv 
or erravayciv is Epicurus' technical word in this sense : cf. K. A. xxn, 
xxvi. Von der Muehll prefers the double compound in-avdytiv. 

tAs dfSpairoouSeis . . . TexetTei'as, ' slavish ', because they are wedded 
to one explanation instead of having an open mind for many possi- 
bilities, like the true Epicureans. 

dorpoViYwK : not ' astrologers ' in our sense, but professional 
astronomers : a subdivision of the <t>wriKol (§ 90 3). 

COMMENTARY. §§ 93-94 


(g) The moon. (1) Its phases. § 94 The letter now passes to the 
consideration of certain problems with regard to the moon, which are, 
as usual, traditional among the phj'Sical philosophers. It deals first 
with the phases, and again reports several traditional explanations 
without the expression of any preference. The sentence should be 
compared with Lucr. v. 705-750, which shows the connexion of the 
explanations given here with the theories concerning the moon's light 
which are discussed in the following sentence 

1. KeKtScrets . . irXriptJaets : all the M SS. agree on the plural in 
both cases, and it seems simpler to alter hvvair av (1. 2) to the plural with 
Meibom rather than ' restore ' the singular here The plural would 
be quite natural : each separate phase of the moon is a KtViutrie or 
a Trkyptoa-ii, and the whole process of waxing and waning is rightly 
described by the plural. 

2. <rrpo<^e tou crcufAdTos tootou, ' the turning round of the moon's own 
body '. If this idea is combined with the theory that the moon has its 
own light, then the moon, as Lucretius explains (v 720—730), is thought 
of as a ball light on one side and dark on the other, and its gradual 
turning round causes the appearance of the phases This was 
approximately the theory of Heraclitus, who (Aet 11 24 3) thought that 
both sun and moon were ' bowl-shaped ' (<TKa<f>oti8tZs), and that the 
turning of the concave side to us caused both the phases of the moon 
and also echp c es. Lucretius (v. 727) attributes the theory to the 
Chaldeans, from whom possibly Heraclitus took it. On the other 
hand, if the action of ' turning ' be combined with that of the moon's 
reflected light, we get approximately the right explanation of the 
phases, as described by Lucr v. 705-714. 

3. crxTijiaTtCTfioiPs d^pos, ' the conformation of the atmosphere'. Tins 
theory, which is not mentioned by Lucretius, goes naturally with the 
notion of the rekindling of the heavenly bodies at times the ' fuel- 
track ' of the moon runs through denbe and moist tiacts of atmos- 
phere, so that portions or the whole of the light was extinguished. 
We may therefore compare the theory Lucretius puts forward (v 696— 
700) of the unequal length of nights and days This notion seems 
to have been held by Xenophanes (Aet. 11. 29 5). 

Kara irpoo-Oer^o-eig, ' by the interposition ', as Lucretius explains 
( v 7i5 - 7 r 9). °f another opaque body which is itself invisible to us, so 
that the moon's own light is partially or completely hidden. This 
was the theory of Anaximenes (Aet. 11 13 10) and Anaxagoras 
{Htppol 1. 8 6). Though e7rnrpoer0eT7jcris is more usual in this sense,' 
e.g § 92 6, 11 seems unnecessary to alter with Usener to «ar' 

5. toutou tou ctSous, ' of this appearance ', almost ' of these phases '. 
diroSoo-cis, ' accounts ', 'explanations ' 

7 &7roSoicifi<i£t) : an intentional use of a legal technical term. 

oti Te0€upT)Ki»»s : Cobet's restoration of ovtc 6to>prjTiKO)^ 

(2) Its light. § 94. g-% 95. 7. The next section deals with the 


origin of the moon's light and with the two explanations that it is her 
own, or is reflected from the sun. Lucretius does not deal separately 
with this problem, but refers to it, as we have seen, in the discussion 
of the phases of the moon, and again in his discussion of its size 
(v. 575-576). 

9. ii iauTtjs : this view was held by Anaximander (Aet. 11. 25. 1) and 
Xenophanes (id. 11. 28. 1). 

10. diro too >}Xiou : the belief of Thales, Empedocles, and 

§ 95. 1. koi yap Trap* t)u.Ti> : the analogy of things on earth is in 
favour of the double possibility. 

2. kou oidkv iu/irooooTdTei . . . • and nothing in the phenomena of 
the sky is against either explanation. 

3. Idv tis ... : another long exposition of the principles, but an 
unusually clear statement. The two mistakes we have to avoid are 
admitting explanations which are inconsistent with phenomena, and 
arbitrarily confining ourselves to a single explanation. 

6. tout* <3yk<h u.aTcu'ais : a good instance of the superiority of B, 
which alone preserves the text, which is dreadfully mangled in the 
other MSS. 

(3) Its face. § 95. 7~§ 96. 4. The face in the moon is a subject 
not touched on by Lucretius, but dealt with by some of the early 
philosophers. Two causes are suggested for its appearance. 

7. ep.<f>ao-is, 'impression ', the woid ordinarily used to represent the 
image on the retina of the eye 

8. koto Trapa\\ayT|f p,£pwi>, 'by the succession of varying parts', 
i.e. the contour of its surface changes in successive places and so 
causes the appearance Anaxagoras had so explained the face in the 
moon (Aet. 11 30. 2). 

9. kot' lirfrrpotxO£Tr\<jiv, 'by the interposition of other bodies ' shut- 
ting out the moon's light, and so causing the shadows which produced 
the appearance This may have been the theory of Anaximenes, who 
gave a similar account of the moon's phases ; see on § 94 3 above. 

ttot" the MSS. have -n-avra, which must be a mere mistake 

Oeupoiiro, ' might be observed', i.e. in terrestrial phenomena, so as 
to suggest an explanation by analogy. 

§ 96. 2. tV Tomu'nn' (sc 6Sbv) l\f(ueur • it is unnecessary to emend 
with Usener to i^rcuo-tv. Bignone compares § 114. 'j 7rapa to t^v 
ivavriav Kivturoai. 

3. tis $ juaxijwos : the MSS. have t«ti /xa.xop.cvoi? (or /3aXA.o/xcVots) : 
again this seems a necessary correction 

(h) Eclipses. § 96. 5-10. The letter proceeds to deal very briefly 
with the problem of the eclipses of sun and moon, and suggests two 
possible causes corresponding to the general theories of sun and moon 
already enunciated ; either the temporary extinction of the luminaries 
or their obscuration by the interposition of some other body. The 
latter explanation is then subdivided according to the nature of the 

COMMENTARY. §§ 94-96 


interposed body. The text is rather uncertain and the whole passage 
made obscure by its brevity, but much light is lhrown upon it by the 
longer discussion in Lucr. v. 751—770. 

6. kotA afHtxtv: i.e just as we have seen the cause of lhe daily 
setting and rising may be the extinction and rekindling of sun and 
moon, their eclipses may be due to lhe same cause, when the ' fuel- 
irack' passes through damp regions. SoLucr.v 758-761(0^768-770). 

solque suos euam dimittere languidus ignis 
tempore cur certo nequeat recreareque lumen, 
cum loca praetenit flammis infesta per auras, 
quae faciunt ignis inierstingui atque perire ? 

This was probably the theory of Xenophanes (cf. Aet. 11 24. 4) 

7. kot' i-iriirpooMnjaie, ' by lhe interposition of another body ', 
e.g. as, in point of fact, lhe eclipse of the sun is due to the interposi- 
tion of the moon between earth and sun and that of the moon to lhe 
interposition of the earth between sun and moon The wnter is not 
satisfied with these possibilities, but must add otheis. 

<J ytjs this of course accounts for the eclipse of the moon, as 
Lucretius clearly explains v. 762-764 

et cur terra queai lunam spoliare vicissim 
lumine et Oppressum solem super ipsa tenere, 
menstrua dum rigidas com perlabitur umbras 

Tins explanation was given by Anaxagoras, Aet. 11. 29. 6, 7 i-as 8*'i/'Cis \tt)v o-tX.r)vr)v TroLticr&a.i] els to 0-KLa.o-p.a Trjs yiys ip-TTLirrova-av, 
/jttTa£v p.iv d.fjL<f>OT<cp(i>v tuiv a<jripu>v ytvo/xtv^s, paXXov 8t Tr}<: criXrjvqt 

r) dopdTou Tieos fj l-tlpov toioutou The MSS at this point have 
ij oipavov rj tlvos irtpov tolovtov. oipavov can hardly be kept, though 
von der Muehll retains it Woltjer (de Lucr. Philos , p. 135) proposed 
to read i) trtKijvrj'; 77 tli os irtpov tolovtov ' rj yr/s r) o-e\r)vr]<s would 
then give the right explanations of lhe eclipses of moon and sun 
respectively, and i) twos irtpov tolovtov would allude to the lheory of 
the interposition of some other opaque body mentioned by Lucr. v. 
756-757, 765-767. Usener's objection (Pieface, p xvm) that this 
will not do b'ecause ' the wnter is anxious to explain the eclipse of 
both sun and moon by the same cause ', does not hold : for it applies 
equally well to rj yrjs, which can only explain an eclipse of the moon. 
The real objection to Woltjer's suggestion is surely palaeographical, 
that it does not at all account for the MS oipavov. Usener him- 
self, thinking of the theory of the interposition of the opaque body, 
and comparing the passage in Aet. 11. 13 10, where it is attributed to 

Anaximenes (irtpiextw St [sc. to ao~rpa\ nva kol yttoSt) crtopaTa o~vp.Trtpi- 
<f>fp6fj.tva Tovroii aopara) together with Lucr v. 753-767, made the 
brilliant restoration aopdrov for oipavov, which may be considered 



certain. He then proposes to omit rj, and suggests that it may 
possibly conceal rj/itv. I prefer to transpose fj and tivos and take 
7) iripov tolovtov to refer, not to the possibility of the sun-eclipse 
by the interposition of the moon (which is now not mentioned, tj yrjs 
being taken as typical of this line of explanation), but rather to the 
interposition of ' any oiher such body' — one of those vague phrases 
by which the writer wishes to leave the way open to other possible 
explanations : cf. § 95. 9 ko.1 oo-ol t-ot av rpmroi ktA. I do not how- 
ever feel sure that we should not combine both Woltjer's and Usener's 
suggestions, and restore the passage 77 yijs (77 o-f\rjyT)s) rj aoparov wos 
r) iripov tolovtov, when we should have a fuller account and a closer 
correspondence with Lucretius. Homoeoteleuton would account for 
the omission of rj o-cXt^vtj? 

8. Kal &St . . : the writer adds two cautions with regard to such 

-rods oliteious . . . (rufOf upuriov . (1) we must be careful that the 
explanations of eclipses are properly combined with the other theories 
adopted about the heavenly bodies, e.g. as Lucretius suggests v. 768, 
the idea that eclipse is due to extinction can only be applied to the 
moon, if it be held that she shines with her own light, or again, moon- 
eclipse can only be explained by interposition of the earth, if we 
suppose her light to be reflected from the sun. 

9. t&s fya auYKupT)<Tci; . . . • (2) we must remember that several 
of these causes may be at work at once : e g it might be that the 
moon is extinguished at the same moment as an opaque body comes 
in front of it, or that the sun is shut off by both the moon and some 
other body at once. It is an additional argument for the ■n-A.toi'axos 
Tpdiros. o-vyicvprqo-fi's, which is undoubtedly right, is preserved in BQCo 
and the second hand in H and P : the other MSS. have the corruption 

10 yivtoQai : at this point the MSS. have a reference to the eleventh 
book of the TIcpl <£vcrtcos, which is important as showing that Epicurus 
had there the full theory of eclipses ' by interposition ' : see app. cnt. 
The word o-KiatrpaTot connects the theory directly wuh Anaxagoras : 
see note on 1. 7 above The compiler of the letter probably had this 
passage of the Hcpl (pvo-fws before him. 

(»■) Periods. § 97. A brief sentence on the ' periods ' of the 
heavenly bodies, wuh another elaborate warning against the falseness 
of the theological view and thje mistake of the dogmatic assertion of 
one theory against all others. 

1. rd£is irepiiSou, 'the regularity of the period', i.e. the mechanical 
regularity with which the orbits {irtptoSoi) of the heavenly bodies are 
performed, the moon in a month, the sun in a year, &c. 

2. feia xal irap* ' . we can infer the kind of analogies of which 
the wnter was thinking from the similar passage in which Lucretius 
( v - 737 - 75°) adduces the succession of the seasons as a parallel to the 
regularity of the successive phases of the moon. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 96-98 


3. Vj 6tla . . . : such things must not be attributed to the gods, 
for such work would be inconsistent with their existence of perfect 
tranquillity. The argument is familiar, cf. Ep. i, § 77; "i, §§ 123, 

4. d\«iToupyr)Tos 5 ' not oppressed with burdens' . cf. Ep. 1, § 76. 10 

fur/Tf XfiTovpyovrros tivo? 

fiOKapionjTt • cf. Ep. 111, § 123. 5. 

5 aiTioXoyia, 'the discussion of causes'. Stob. Eel. i. 724 amo- 
koyiai . . . iv tpvcriokoyta and Sext Emp. i. 181 Truaav Soyfj.aTiKr)v 

6. ou SufaTou TpcSirou ^<|>ai((ap.^rais, ' not clinging to the possible 
method', i.e the method of accepting only such explanations as are 
consistent with possibility as revealed by phenomena. 

7. to ko0' ?f« Tpiirof . . . otevOai it seems quite possible to retain 
the accusative to, in apposition to to /xaraiov, instead of emending with 
Usener to to!. 

9. to dSiaf(ST)TOf , ' that which cannot be thought ' : that which is 
inconsistent with the TrpoX-q^w which exist in the mind 

10 «ri)ji.ela • as 'hints' or 'indications' of the facts of celestial 
phenomena, cf. § 87. 6 

11. «rur6e<i>pe?e, 'to consider them with' celestial occurrences, 
1. e to compare and so infer cf tous oineiovs aAA^A.ois TpoTrou? <rw- 
6m>pfifriov, § 96. 8 The strange reading of the MSS. crvv 6tu> {sic) 
Xaiptiv looks almost like a ' pious ' emendation. 

(j) Length of nighis and days. § 98. 1-8. Another brief para- 
graph on the alternations in the length of dajs and nights at different 
times of the )ear. It is obscure and undoubtedly corrupt, but we 
may, I think, recover the sense and in part the text from the parallel 
section in Lucr. v. 680-704. I do not, however, at all agree with 
Usener as to the relation of the two passages or the state of the text. 

I. TrapaXX (xTTOira. cf. Kara irapaAAayr)i' p.eptuv, § 95- 8. 

Kal irapo. to Taxcias . . 6eupciTai ; these clauses must all be 
considered together. The MS text runs Kal -n-apa. to Tafias r/XCov 
Kivrj<Ttis y{v«T0ai Kal irdXiv /JpaSetas \nrep yy)s irapa to firjKrj Toirtav 
sropaAAarrovTa /cat tojtovs TWa? 7rfpa.ioviTa Tayytv a)S «u Trap yffj.iv r) 
f3pa&vrep6v riva ffeuipfirau, an obvious muddle which lhe earlier editors 
practically ga,ve up, though Meibom by inserting y) before -n-apa to 
P-rjicq Twrtav tried to distinguish a separate explanation from that in the 
beginning of the clause . this is merely unintelligent patchwork. 

Usener, after emending the participles TTapaXKaxrovra. and -n-tpaioCvra 
to the infinitives ■napaXka.TTtw and ircpaiovv, and making the obvious 
transference of r) fipa&vrcpov to its place between ra^ioy and is «al 
irap' -tfiiZv, then cuts out the whole clause from irapa to p-rfinf tottojv . . . 
r/ jSpaSvrepov as an explanatory gloss on the previous explanation and 
marks a lacuna. He thus leaves the passage with one explanation, 
the difference of pace in the sun's movements, which does not occur 
in Lucretius, and supposes all the three reasons which Lucretius 

ii. npos nr©OKAEA 

mentions to have been dealt with in clauses now lost. But seeing 
the close correspondence of the letter and Lucretius all through 
this astronomical section, this is not a probable nor, I think, a 
necessary supposition, and, further, the clause which Usener excludes 
is by no means a ' formula paullo accuratior ' for what he has already 

If we analyse the passage in Lucretius we see that the three 
explanations he gives fall naturally under two heads., corresponding to 
the two main theories about the sun. (i) If we suppose that the 
same sun performs a daily orbit round the earth, then the variation is 
due to the fact that he spends more time above the earth in summer 
than in winter. This may be caused (a) by an unequal division of ihe 
arcs of the orbit owing to the relation of ecliptic, equator, and horizon 
(683-695), or by the presence of a crassior aer at some parts of his 
journey, which causes a delay in his rising (696-700) (2) If we 
suppose a new sun is kindled every day, then the variation is due to 
the slowness or quickness of the gathering of the flames which create 
the sun (701-704) 

It is probable that the writer of the letter had the same explanations 
in the same order, and with but slight alteration of the text one can 
obtain this I should keep irapaWdTTovra., suppose that a verb of motion, 
say Sucvat, was lost after it, after ko.C insert (Trapa. to), adopt Usener's 
TTtpaiovv for Trepaunivra (the change may either be due to the neigh- 
bouring 7rapaAAaTTovra or to dittography of the first syllable of tox">v), 
and accept the transference of i) J3pat>vT(pov after tox<-ov: it is also 
possible that there is a considerable lacuna after 17 fipaSvTtpov. 

The clause kol Trapa to Ta^etas . . - i-rrip yi)<: then expresses the 
general view (1) that the sun m his daily orbit spends less time 
(jax«as) above the earth at certain periods of the year than at others. 
This explanation is then subdivided into two possible causes . 

(a) corresponding to Lucr. V. 682-695 Trapa. to fJ-r}Krj t6tto>v TrapoAAar- 
Tovra (Sutvai), ' because he traverses regions differing in length (above 
earth)', or (£) corresponding to Lucr. v. 696-700 Kal {Trapa. to) toVovs 
tivols Trtpatovr rd-xiav i) fipa&vrepov, ' because he gets through certain 
regions' (i.e. those which have a thinner atmosphere) 'more quickly 
than others'. Then in all probability there was another clause 
beginning with koX Trapa corresponding to kol wapa to raxtCas . . . 
setting out (2) the explanation on the theory of the dVofis. In this 
way with small alteration we can get a complete correspondence to 
Lucretius. p-rjicr} vvktwv koX r)£iv TrapaWdrrovTa is left without any 
definite construction, but the looseness is not greater than m many 
places of the letter : ' the variation in length of nights and days (is) 
due to . . .' 

Bignone, who agrees with me as to the general run of the passage, 
but wishes to mend the construction and refrain from any MS. altera- 
tion, except the transference of i) ftpa&vTtpov (and possibly the sub- 
stitution of ntpioSov: for *coTjo-£ts — surely gratuitous), would suppose 

COMMENTARY. §§98-99 

a more considerable loss and restore as follows icai napa. to Tax«'as 

17A.10V kiv)J<t«S (? TTtpioSovt) yivttr$ai Kai /3pa8eca.s iirip yijs, 7rapa 
to 1^X7] Tosroif irapaAAaTTOVTa (irtpaiovv, cvSr^erai vn-ap^tiv, icai irapa. to 
Ta.-yu>v t] ftpaovrtpov Kivti<r8ai, ira.ptKTa.cTms atpoi) Kai to7tovs Tivas 
7r<patoCvra rayiov rj fipa&vTtpov. This appears to me a rather clumsy 
and unnecessarily elaborate change. 

6. ol 8e ri Iv XafipoVorrts : the usual caution against the ' single ' 

7. el : Usener's alteration to $ is unnecessary : the persons who 
dogmatically assert the single explanation, have surely failed to ask 
1/ it is possible for man to attain such accuracy in observation 

(A) Weather-signs. § 98. 9~§ 99. 2. Another brief sentence on 
signs of the weather as given by the heavenly bodies. The text is 
again corrupt, but in its most difficult place has been set right by 
a brilliant conjecture 

9. tirto-T)|MKriai, 'weather-signs ' The writer is thinking heTe solely 
of such signs as are given by the heavenly bodies, e.g. the rising of 
Sinus, the red sunset, the blushing of the moon (Virg. G. 1 431), &c 

koto o-u-yKupi^o-cts Kaip&i' • it may be that such signs are due mainly 
to coincidence of occasion, e g. the prtsente of Sinus and hot weather. 
For o-vyKvprjcrfis cf. § 96. 9 above. 

10 KaOd-irtp iv toTs ■ . . Iwois 1 e in the case of weather-signs given 
by animals, e.g. the low-fT)ing swallow, the croaking crow, &c. With 
these the writer deals in § 115, and explains there that they are due to 

-imp* ^Ttpoiwcis &ipo% Kai. p.tTaf$o\as : a brilliant restoration of 
Usener's for the MS. text Trap' iripoK ajo-ei a.ipo<s kox fLtrafjoXTji (p-tra- 
jSoXas is due to Kuhn). In some cases the signs are really due to 
the same changes in the atmosphere, which produce the change of 
weather: e.g. the flushing of the moon. 

§ 99. 1. iiri Se -iroi'ois . • it is not possible for us to distinguish 
which of these two possible causes is at work on any given occasion. 
The writer seems to have been almost excessively cautious here, but 
consistent with his own principles There is some authority in the 
MSS. for the reading ^Srj Sc iroi'ois adopted by Kochalsky. 

III. Meteorology : Clouds, Rain, Thunder, Lightning. 

§§ 99-104 

The discussion of signs of the weather leads naturally to the third 
mam section of the letter, which deals with what we know more 
strictly as meteorology: it corresponds to the earlier portion of 
Lucr. vi. 96-607. The same principles are of course observed as m 
the section on Astronomy. 

(a) Clouds. § 89. 3-8 The writer deals first with clouds and 
explains three methods of their formation, which correspond with those 
set out by Lucr. vi 451—482 the fourth cause suggested by Lucretius, 


the pouring in of moist elements from outside the Koa-ftos, is not 
noticed in the letter. 

3. mXVjpcis Alpos, 'the packing of the atmosphere': the irjp is 
regarded alwa>s as being moist in character, and its condensation 
would form the masses of moist matter which we call clouds. 

4. (kotA) irceujidiw trwdiocis : the two last words are excluded by 
Usener as a gloss, o-uvuktih being Meibom's correction of crwaJo-cios. 
But they are certainly not an interpretation of TriA^creis depos, but are 
required to explain the origin of the phenomenon : cf. Lucr vi. 462- 
466, who describes the operation as taking place on a mountain-top : 

propterea quia, cum consistunt nubila pnmum, 
ante videre oculi quam possint, tenvia, venti 
portantes cogunt ad summa cacumina montis. 
hie demum fit uti turba maiore coorta 
et condensa queant apparere. 

The words should then certainly be retained. Meibom connected 
them with % — but they do not express an alternative cause, Kuhn with 
xot — but they do not give a parallel cause . rather the remoter cause 
of the jriAiJcrfts dt'pos ; the air is condensed owing to the compression 
of the winds. I think, therefore, that k is a preposition which has 
dropped out, and have inserted Kara. Bignone, who takes the same 
view, inserts Sta : Usener in his preface suggests Trvevfj-druiv ctwuhtii, 
which is simpler, but a little abrupt The theory was that of 
Anaximenes . cf Aet. 111 4 I vtfprj ytvta-Oai Tra^yvOtvros iirl Trktlov 
tov atpos. 

itapi. ircpiirXoKas . . . tooto rekioai . atoms likely to form moisture 
come together and become interlaced, making the nucleus of a cloud 
which gradually grows. The process is described by Lucr. 451-458. 
The explanation, as one might expect from its atomic character, was 
that of Democntus : cf. Aet. iv. 1.4 Giussani translates dAA^A.ov^wj', 
' of every kind ', but this is clearly wrong. 

5. xarck feujidTtiiv . . . Kal uSd-rue ■ panicles of moisture came off fiom 
sea, rivers, and even the earth itself, and streamed together into the air 
to form clouds : cf. Lucr. vi. 470-482, and especially 476-477 . 

praeterea fluvns ex omnibus et simul ipsa 
surgere de terra nebulas aestumque videmus. 

This was the theory of Xenophanes : cf. Aet in. 4. 4, and the frag- 
ment of Xenophanes himself which is there preserved : 

fjLtyai 7tovto% ycvtruip vtt^iiov dvi/iwv tc 
/ecu Trorajiwv . 

6. Kol hot' aXXou$ Si . . . • the usual supposition that there may be 
other equally good explanations. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 99-100 

(3) Rain. § "99. 8-§ 100. 4. A short explanation is given of the 
way in which rain may be produced, corresponding to the origin of 
clouds above, and roughly with the account gnen by Lucr. vi. 

8. fJSrj : i.e. when the clouds are thus formed. 

p |xck OKipoplfw, fj Si |xcra3aW<SiT<ok' : the ideas are not at once 
clear, but are explained by Lucretius (1) The clouds are piled up on 
one another : those underneath are ' squeezed ' on their upper side 
by the clouds above them, and so the ram is pressed out cf. Lucr. vi. 
510-512 : 


copia nimborum turba maiore coacta 

urget et e supero premit ac facit effluere imbris. 

This idea is found in Anaximenes : cf. Aet 111. 4. 1 fxSXKov S' f-n-uxwa- 
xOtvros [tov ac'pos] cK0\i/?to-&u tovs o/xfipovs and corresponds to the first 
notion of the formation of clouds given above. (2) The clouds are 
' altered ' when they are struck by the sun's rajs and so changed from 
solid to liquid, falling in the form of rain cf Lucr vi 513-516 

praeterea cum rarescunt quoque nubila ventis 
aut dissolvuntur, solis super icta calore, 
mittunt umorem pluvium stillantque, quasi igm 
cera super cahdo tabescens multa hquescat. 

§100. I. TryeujidTGie na,Ta<f>opa : the MSS. have Trvtv/j.ara tot' a7ro- 
<f>opdv, the alteration is Usener's. The genitive Trvtv J uaTu»' is required 
by the participle Kivovfitviuv, and Kara<i>op$ expresses the swooping 
down of the wind on the clouds better than tot' &Tro<f>opa.v The first 
cause of the rain is internal — in the clouds themselves; the second is 
external — the advent of the wind which disturbs them : this corre- 
sponds exactly to Lucr. vi. 510 'nam vis venti contrudit' 

Bignone, who apparently overlooked these words in Lucretius, 
complains that Usener's text does not give satisfactory sense, and 
reads ptD/idrw k<x.t a-rro<j>opa.v, in inference to the gathering of moist 
particles into the clouds described later on by Lucretius in vi. 520 ff. : 

. multa cientur semma aquarum 
atque alns ahae nubes nimbique rigantes 
omni . . . de parte feruntur. 

This change seems to me gratuitous, and dn-o iTm-rjSc iW To-n-wv is much 
more forcible in reference to the wind : it would not matter from what 
places the moist particles came. 

2, diri frriTijSciur ri-nw . the wind must be blowing from the right 
quarter to affect the conformation of the clouds in the nght way. 

Kal 81* dlpos : Usener omits kcu, unnecessarily. The wind must not 


only blow from the right quarter, but pass through the misty atmo- 
sphere, and so gather in its course more of the material of clouds. 

3. fjiaiorlpas . . . imir^+cis. Usener apparently (from his 
analysis) takes this clause solely with the second explanation In rt, 
regarding U as the true atomic and probably Democntean explanation 
as opposed to Anaximenes. But this is surely not right. Both the 
internal pressure of clouds and the external force of wind are causes 
of rain which would be recognized on any theory, atomic or other- 
wise, nor is there any good reason for the comparative /3tcuoTcpa.v 
Lucretius, too, v. 517-518, after giving the two causes above as exactly 
parallel to one another, proceeds to considei the cause of a vemens 
imitr, and though his explanation differs from that given here, it 
shows, I think, the purpose of the clause I understand the writer to 
mean : ' there are two causes of rain, and with either cause the 
violence of the shower is increased, if the atomic conformation of the 
cloud is suitable '. 

dOpoiajidTwe : the regular technical word for the combination of 
atoms in a thing : cf K. A ix, Lucretius' glomeramtna Bignone, 
reading pcvfiaTtav in I 1, takes it of the accumulation of moist emana- 
tions, but it is very common in Epicurus in the atomic sense. 

4. imnrjBciwi' it is interesting to note this reference to the main 
theory . to produce a given effect, a thing must be composed of the 
right atoms 111 the right formation 

(c) Thunder. § IOO 5-1 r. From clouds and ram the writer 
natuially proceeds to thunder, lightning, and thunderbolts, and 
suggests an unusually large number of causes for these phenomena. 
Lucretius similarly treats these subjects at gleat length (vi. 96-422), 
and as usual the let'er corresponds closely with his explanations. 

5. irveiifiaroi . 6iVt'iKr\u\.v : the wind shut up in the hollows of the 
clouds and by its whirl always thickening their sides, reverberates 
loudly. The idea is clearly explained by Lucr. vi. 121-131. 

7. dyyciois, ' vessels ' . the ordinary Greek jar with a narrow mouth 
would, as Bignone points out, make a noise when one blew into it. 
Lucretius' illustration from a bladder is really more appropriate ■ 

nec mirum, cum plena animae vesicula parva 
saepe ita dat parvum sonitum displosa repente. 

irupis ■nctrvtvp.aTup.ivov fi6p{iov : an explanation not mentioned by 
Lucretius. The idea is no doubt of the flame excited by wind, which 
seems to get inside it and drive it about with a great roar, as in a 
forge. I do not think Usener is right in translating (in his analysis) 
tgms in spirtium solutt . it is not the natural meaning, nor required by 
the context Bignone agrees with my view. 

8. j^£ws . . . 8ia<jTd<r€i$ : the clouds themselves are actually torn 
asunder, and make a noise, like the rending of awnings in a theatre or 
the tearing of paper, as Lucretius aptly says, vi. 108- 11 5. 

COMMENTARY. §§ ioo-ioi 303 

8icurr<£treis • Usener unnecessarily corrects to Siao-jrao-en 
irapaTptyeis . . KpuoTaXXoeiSt] : a more difficult idea. The clouds, 

congealed to a kind of rigidity, scrape along one another and burst 

with a report cf. Lucr. vi. t 16-120 : 

fit quoque enim mterdum ut non tam concurrere nubes 
frontibus adversis possint quam de latere ire 
diverso motu radentes corpora tractim, 
aridus unde auns terget sonus die diuque 
ducitur, exierunt donee regiombus artis 

9. KdTci£ci.$, ' breaking ', ' bursting: ' doubtfully I follow Bignone in 
adopting this reading from Froben's editw princeps The majority of 
the MSS. have Tafeu, which is impossible. F lias Siaa-rao-ns, whence 
Usener conjectured raa-eis, ' tension ', the idea being that the clouds 
being stretched emit a sound like the string of a lyre but this is very 

KpucrraXXoet&Tj surely not ' like glass ', as Usener renders in his 
analysis, but ' like ice ', it is a less violent form of the process which 
produces hail : see § 106 

Kot to ohov . . • the usual appeal to the ' plural ' method, to oAov 
here apparently the whole subject of meteorology : tovto to /«p°s> the 
special question of thunder 

Ti ^KKaKeiTai cf § 86. 10 

to. ^an'op-cp-a both the phenomena of thunder itself and phenomena 
on earth, 'which supply analogies 

(d) Lightrung. § lOl i-§ 102. 6 The causes of lightning are set 
out in a rather confusing profusion. The explanations may be 
anal) zed thus 

(1) fue-atoms contained in the clouds are driven out of them — 

a) by collision or friction with other clouds (1-3) ," 

b) by wind (4, 5); 

(c) by compiession (6, 7). 

(2) fire atoms are driven out, which came originally 

(a) from the heavenly bodies (8-10) , 

(b) from a filtration of light-particles through the atmo- 

sphere (10-12) 

(3) the cau^e is wind — 

(a) itself ignited in the cloud (13, 14), 

(b) bursting the clouds and driving out fire-atoms (101. 1-3). 
The last cause (3b) is hardly distinguishable from (1 b), but it is now 
regarded from the point of view of the wind as cause. Nearly all the 
explanations can be paralleled in Lucr \i 160-218, and many can be 
disco\ered in the earlier philosophers. 

2. irapdTpuJ/ic Kal trtryKpouaii' . Trapdrp^n, the side-friction of clouds 
rubbing against each other (cf too 8); o-i'ryjcpovo-is, the collision of 
clouds charging against one another. The two operations are of 

3°4 ii. npos nreoKAEA 

course distinct, but are classed together : it is unnecessary to alter 
kcu to 7}, as Usener suggests in his notes. This cause Lucretius 
also places first (vi. 160—163) It was the theory of Democritus, and 
Aetius in his account (111. 3. 11) has just the same combination of 
oTjyKpovais and iraparpt.^i'S : oxrrpairqv St crvyKpovaiv vt<pu>v, v<f>' rjs to. 
ytWffTiKa. tov irvpos 8ta Ttav TroXvKtvwv apaau/xdruiy Tats 7raparpii/'«<r<.y 
to avro crwa\t£6fjxva SirjOtirai 

6 nvpos diroT«\«<rriic&s axw xTl<r t l 6s : a splendidly atomic expression : 
the right conformation of the right kind of atoms to produce fire. 

4. iKpiiri<rp&v . . . trapacKeud^ei * the second means of ejection ; a 
violent casting out by winds. This is treated by Lucr. vi. 185-203, and 
may be traced in Anaximahder and later in Metrodorus of Lampsacus 
(Aet. Hi. 3. 3) 

ruv ToiouTue au^iruy & . . . again characteristic . the right sort of 
atoms for the purpose. 

6. KctT* ^Kmao'p.oV . the third possibility, the atoms are squeezed out 
by the presence of other clouds or of wind, a cause similai to the two 
preceding, but less violent. Lucretius does not deal with it separately. 
It was the theory of Anaxagoras. 

7. hot" {fiircpi\T]t|iii' . . . Sid Tuf vtfySiv the writer now passes to the 
second class of causes in which the fire is not supposed to be originally 
contained in the clouds, but to enter them from without, and first from 
the heavenly bodies. This curious idea is explained by Lucr. vi 204- 
213 : it was apparently the theory of Empedocles. Karecnrapfiivov 
seems a very necessary correction of the MS. KaTcoTretpajue'vou, whuh 
Usener strangely keeps 

10. KCrrd 8iV)fli)criK . . . tou Xeirro|i€p£ordTou 4>wr<5s . the light-particles 
are now regarded as collected in the clouds fiom the air in which they 
previously floated. This is not mentioned by Lucretius, but seems to 
have been a notion of Anaxagoras, who regarded the aW-jp as fire and 
said that it was Kartvex^ev ivoiOey Karat, and that the lightning was 
BtdXaful/iv. . . tovtov tov irvpos (Arist. Meteor. 369 b 15): cf. also Seneca, 
Nat Quaesi. 11. 12. 3, who uses the word dtshllare, which is clearly 
a translation of hir)&tiv. 

(81A) . a necessary addition of Usener's. 

11. X«irro(ji«pe<rT<iTou : particles of heat or light are always in the 
atomic theory extremely light and subtle, so that they can both rise 
and penetrate cf § 90. 9 XtTTTopxptav tivwv <f>vcrto)v. 

After <purr6s the MSS have f) &nrb tov irvpbs vtlpi) owtiAe^fat xal rai 
jSpoiras caroreXettr&ai kcu kotcl rrjy tovtov Kivrja-iv. The words from rj 
iw6 . . . airoTt\*2o-&ai are excluded as a gloss by Usener, who then omits 
Kara and takes koL tjjk tovtov Kivy\dw parallel to Kara Slt^Otjo-iv. This 
is arbitrary, and Bignone has shown that the words can be pieserved in 
the text with the slight changes of t| to # and avvtiXixBau. to o-wt<t>\cv6ai 
(Usener), and the omission of nal before /cara. tt/v tovtov kIyi}o-lv. The 
clause will then constitute a parenthesis connecting the phenomenon of 
lightning with that of thunder, which has already been discussed : it is 

COMMENTARY. §§ 101-102 


this penetration of the light particles from the ether which causes the 
kindling of the clouds and so the occurrence of thunder through the 
movement of the enclosed fire. He discovers the same connexion in 
Lucr vi. 150 f., where he says : 

andior porro si nubes accipit ignem, 
uritur ingenti somtu succensa repente. 

The infinitives crwc<£Xtx0ai anc * A-jroTtXeto-fiai will be dependent on 
a suppressed cvSr^rrai, as in § 92. 3 ycvttrOtxi $vva.<T@a.i. 

In a later note Bignone is inclined to keep both rat and Kara and 
to suppose a lacuna : he would then write mi Kara. t{tjv crt£iv koi 
KttTa r)rjv tovtod KLiTjcriv. o-ifts occurs in Arist. Meteor, u. 9. 3.69 a in 
the sense of ' a hissing noise ', such as would be produced by the fire- 
particles in contact with the moisture of the clouds and might cause 
thunder. He then quotes as parallel Lucr. vi. 145 ff. where two causes 
are adduced : (1) the noise ot the fire in contact with the wet clouds ; 
(a) the onward rush of the increasing fire. An exact parallel would 
then be produced, but I think this is going too far in the way of 
imaginative restoration. 

1 3. k<xt& Tf)f toC lrfcuparos jKirup<i><riv this is the third class of 
causes, namely wind. Here the wind inside the clouds catches fire 
owing to the severity of its motion. Lucretius explains this cause in 
vi 175-182. 

§ 102. 1 ita-rcl ^rj£eic . . . diroTeXouaiif : wind is here the active 
cause which drives out the fire-atoms. This explanation is found in 
Lucr. vi. 214—218, and corresponds nearly to the theory of Democntus, 
given in § 10 1. 4, but is here represented from the point of view of 
wind as the main cause. 

2. iKirnixnf re for iKirruxriv ruiv . the particle is essential. 

3. $dvraay.a. the ' appearance ' which we perceive, not said of 
course with any sense of its unreality. 

5. 4ei • for the MS. /cat. 

to toiItois Sjiotof ■ i.e. tliat which in earthly phenomena resembles 
what we see in the sky. 

6 owOcupcif . cf. § 96. 9, § 97. 11 

(e) Why lightning precedes thunder. § 102. 6-§ 103. 2. The writer 
now deals with ihe question why the lightning precedes the thunder in 
our experience: he offers two solutions, one with the general idea that 
the lightning actually takes place first, the other that the two are 
simultaneous, but the lightning travels more quickly to us than the 
sound. The latter reason alone is asserted by Lucr. vi. 164-172, who 
for once seems to abandon his Epicurean suspense of judgement. 

7. irepurraaei : lit. ' gathering of matter tc form the clouds': so 
practically 'atomic conformation'- cf. § 92. 3, § ru. 8. Bignone 
again takes it less concretely, ' in the case of such phenomena in the 
clouds '. 



ii. npos nreoKAEA 

koI 8i4 t5 ijka , . . : this explanation goes with those of lightning 
and thunder above which attributed them to wind : the wind enters the 
cloud and at once expels the fire-particles, and then is itself caught in 
the cloud and rushing about causes the sound of thunder, so that the 
lightning does in fact occur first. A description of the idea will be 
found in a different context in Lucr. vi. 194-203. 

8. &iroTc\coTiK&? oxiHumojuSK . cf. § 10 1, 1. 3 above. 

Sattpw hi . . . diroTeXeir rourov : cf. § 1 00. 5 above. 

10. kot ?KirrfcMTiK, 'owing to the falling out' both of the light and 
sound from the cloud at once. The MSS. are here much corrupted, 
B's KaTtfiTTwcriv being the nearest approach to sense. Usener keeps 
kot' ifLirrw<Tiv, but it is not a question of the light and sound entering 
the cloud (which the sound does not do on any theory), but of their 
being dnven out of it simultaneously. Usener shows this clearly in 
his analysis, where he renders ' posse etiam simul utrumque nubibus 
emitti ' : tfiirrwriv cannot possibly mean this, and it seems to me 
necessary to correct to iKirruxriv. Bignone apparently retains ifiirnoow 
in the sense of ' occurrence '. 

nS Tdxet . . . t?jk ppom-f)y : involving of course the general idea that 
light tiavels quicker than sound. We must remember that on the 
Epicurean theory both sight and sound are caused by actual particles 
of matter, which move from the objects in all directions, and when 
they impinge on our sense-organs, cause sensation : cf. Ep. 1 
§§ 49-53- 

§ IOS. 1. icaffchrcp ^ir' iviuy : Lucr. vi. 167-170 illustrates from the 
case of a woodman felling a tree • we see the blow of the axe before 
we hear it. 

irXijyds -rims iroioo^vwc : a quite correct atomic expression, refer- 
ring of course to the blows on the pupil of the eye and the drum of 
the ear, made by the impinging particles of the t'Swkov and the <f>wvy. 

{/) Thunderbolts, § 108. 3~§ 104. 4. The origin of thunderbolts is 
explained on the lines of the previous sections. Either they are por- 
tions of wind, fanned into flame by movement inside the clouds, or 
portions of the fire contained in the cloud, dnven by the wind • in 
either case the outburst is due to the condensation of the cloud, which 
impedes further motion inside itself. The description is more detailed 
than usual, and from the fact that Lucretius devotes a long section 
(vi. 219-422) to the origin of the thundeibolt and its behaviour, we 
may gather that it was an important point in Epicurean meteorology. 

3. k<xt& n-Xciovas iTKeupKiTu? itu\Xoy<£s, ' many gatherings of winds ', 
i.e. the conjunction of several of those whirls of wind pent in -the 
clouds, which are described in § 100. 5 above. The emphatic word 
is iryevftartav as opposed to irvpoi, 1. 7 below : this is the distinction 
between the two theories, which in effect come to much the same. 
Lucretius (vi. 246—284) has a long description in which the ideas of 
wind and fire are not kept distinct, though it on the whole inclines to 
the present notion of lgmted wind. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 102-104 


4 {KirupuaiK Kal KaTdppT){iK (lupous : the whole is ignited, and then, 
as it comes into collision with denser and denser masses of cloud, 
a part breaks off and falls as a thunderbolt. There is no doubt that 
the sentence is continuous, and that ko.1 Kardpprjiiv, &c, forms part of 
the first explanation : cf. Lucr. vi. 281-284, where he'exactly describes 
this portion of the process. Usener in his text followed the authority 
of the better MSS. and printed tKirupoxriv /ecu Kara pr}£i.v /xtpovs, 
starting an independent explanation : but, as he sees in his preface 
(p xx), that leaves the fiist explanation incomplete (and fjjpovi in the 
second would be strangely vague) Bignone agrees in reading «ai 

6 Bia t& toOs fjrjs t6ttous . the violent rush of wind condenses 
the cloud more and more, and so it offers an ever increasing resistance 
to the wind itself as it advances, until it is compact enough to cause 
a portion of the wind to break off and fall out of the cloud. 

7. kou kot' outt] v Se In the second explanation it is the fire- 
particles which produce the thunderbolt, being driven violently by the 
wind, and then owing to the same opposition of the increasing density 
of the cloud, breaking through it and falling The MSS. have Kara. 
Tavnjf, on which Usener's kcit' airyv is certainly an improvement, 
though even that is not very easily intelligible • it probably refers back 
to the theory of thunder m § 100. 5 ff 

8 Ka0& Kol Ppokttjk . certainly a reference to the theory of 
§ 100 5. One would have expected a reference to one of the theories 
of lightning here rather than thunder 

9. TrycufMXTCoB^iTOS . cf. TrarvtvjjjxTwfjLevov, t) IOO. 7. 

10 Sid r6 pt\ SufdcrOai uiroxupcif just in the same way as the 
ignited wind above, 1 4 

11. tw TTtXtio-ik' YtKecr8cu After these words the MSS, have rb piv 

ttoXv -n-pos opos Tt vipy)\ov, iv o> fj.d\L(TTa Ktpavvol ■niTnovuiv The words 
interrupt the sense badly and has nothing to correspond with it, so 
I have followed Usener in rejecting them as a note But the high 
mountain is a prominent feature in the Epicurean theory of clouds, as 
we may see from Lucr vi 459 ff., and the note is at any rate on quite 
correct Epicurean lines. 

§ 104 1 ko.1 kot' aWous Be TptWous . . • Lucretius suggests several 
in vi 295 ff., 300 ff , 309 ff 

3. 6 jiG8os of course the idea that the thunderbolt 13 the direct 
instrument of divine vengeance, which Lucretius combats at length 
vi. 379-422 

4, twk d<f>a»w . it is of course the causes of celestial phenomena 
which are d<£ai/Tj and not the phenomena themselves We are to get 
hints (cn/jfitLovo-Oai) from causes we know about causes beyond 
our ken. 

u 2 


ii. npos nreoKAEA 

IV. Atmospheric and Terrestrial Phenomena. 

(a) Cyclones. § 104. s-§ 106. 4. The writer deals first with cyclones 
and suggests three explanations : in the first cloud is the main con- 
stituent, which is forced down by wind : in the other two wind, which 
either forms itself into a spiral, or is impeded by the mass of cloud 
and so driven downwards. Lucr. vi. 423-450 deals with the same 
topic and, though he only suggests the first explanation, sets it out with 
much picturesque detail. The section owes much to the restorations of 
Usener, who has, however, gone a little too far in ' correcting ' it. 

5. Kcrrck KdOco-ic kI<|>ous, &c. The cloud is forced down by wind, 
which also causes its rotation, and its advance sideways is caused by 
an external wind: cf. Lucr. vi. 431—442. 

6. (rru\oei8£>s, 'like a pillar' : a brilliant restoration of Usener" s for 
the MS. dAAoeiSSs; Lucr vi. 433 ' tamquam demissa columna' makes 
it almost certain 

7. iroXXou, ' by the violence of the wind ', which in its whirling efforts 
to escape drives on the cloud. Usener reads kvkKw, comparing 1. 9 
Kara irtptcrrcuriv 8c irv€v/*a-ros tl<s kvkXov, but the sense is already 
sufficiently given by onAoeiStos, and a change here is unnecessary. 

8. e£s tS irXdyiov . another emendation of Usenet's for tis to 
ttXtjo-iov . again, 1. 11 T a TrXd-yia Siappvijvai gives it strong support 

9. kotA irtpi<rraat.f ... In this explanation wind is the main con- 
stituent, which forms itself into a rotating spiraL For irfpt'oracrts cf 
§ 9 2 - 3, § 102. 7. 

Wpos Tifds imauyuOoufi.iyou avu&w. Usener, who analyses this clause 
vento in gyrum acto et desuper pulso ', apparently takes cV«™va,0ov- 
/xcvov as a middle in an active sense, 1 atmosphere thrusting it down 
simultaneously from above '. But (a) such a middle use is very 
improbable, (6) & vp could not have th 1S thrusting power. The 
participle is surely passive ■ wind in a spiral formation could not m 
itself account for the phenomenon of the spout . ,t needs also some 
body : this is supplied in a portion of misty atmosphere (dc'pos Tivos) 
which is thrust down from above into the wind-spiral. 

wmrf' „ ^ • ' : ^ th,rd explanation, which also takes 
SL %**J ] e ef c °nst.t uent, follows the lines of the explanations of 

bv the 1 " ab 7 C - The wind ,n the cl °» d > being «nrpeded 

driven to finT ^ ° f ? oud m lts endeavours to move sideways, ,s 
driven to find an exit m a downward direction : cf. § 103. 3-7. 

on lanri ,nH ,T . " ' ' : the Same function of the whirlwinds 

by Lucretius produced b * the c ^ clones is 

2oS! ^ hlS descri P tlon of phenomenon at sea, 

appends a picture of what occurs on land (vi. 443-447). 

K/v^t'Jrx*- ' ' YlniTa , 1 : F 86 "" havin « emended ^ S. v to d> s d™uo«, 
ZL r ^"^'^' 10 ? lW "> then excludes the clause as a 
gloss on fffcoi. This 18 exceedmgly arbitrary, and Bignone points out 

COMMENTARY. §§ 104-105 


that the words will make good sense as they stand if <Ls Sv be taken in 
the sense of ' in whatever way ', ' in all the various ways in which the 
creation of such whirlwinds may occur owing to the movement of the 
wind'. He would however himself prefer to suppose a brief lacuna, 
y{v(pvTcu, JSi'qjs 8t kol dvo/ia^ovrai, <I>? &v . . . This would, no doubt, 
give further point to the clause, but once again it seems to be unduly 
imaginative restoration, and I should prefer to keep the words as they 
stand as a reference to the various kinds of whirlwinds which may 

(£) Earthquakes. § 106 5~§ 106 2. The writer suggests two main 
causes for earthquakes. (1) The dislocation and shaking of the earth 
by wind, which either (a) penetrates from outside, or {6) is produced 
by the falling in of large masses of ground into subterranean caverns. 
Or (2) this falling may itself circulate a shock underground, which is 
ultimately arrested and returned by compact tracts of earth We must 
remember that the earth is conceived of as flat and of no great depth. 
The explanations are for the most part like those suggested by 
Lucr. vi. 535-607, and may be traced to their authors among the 
early philosophers, from whom too comes the tradition of reckoning 
certain subterranean phenomena among tu fxertiopa. 

5 rcxtA weunaros . . . The causing of the earthquake by subter- 
ranean winds is described by Lucr. vi. 577 ff. 

6. irap40€oiv . presumably ' dislocation ', lit ' the putting aside ' of 
the earth in small masses by the force of the wind, which ultimately 
by cumulative effect causes a great motion. 

7 & tJ|i» . . iropao-Keualei • Usener for orav . • . irapaa-Ktva^r) (stc). 
Ti\v KpdSayaif, ' the swaying of the earth ' . so to irtpUxov KpaSaxVov- 
tos, Aet. ui 15. 4, in his account of Anaxagoras' theory of earthquakes. 
The reading of the majority of the MSS points to *pa8ao>oV, which 
Casaubon adopted, but the second hand in B supports Hermann's 

Kai t6 nveupa touto . . the writer deals with the question of the 
origin of this wind. It may come from outside. This was apparently 
the theory of Anaxagoras . cf. Aet. loc. cit., and Arist. Meteor. iL 
7 365 a so Lucr. vi 578 : 

ventus ubi atque animae subito vis maxima quaedam 
. . . extrinsecus . . . coorta. 

8. a necessary addition of Meibom . he must proceed now to 
the alternative cause of the wind. 

Ik tou wtirreii' . . . : the second cause : the earth is cavernous 
beneath, and from time to time masses of earth fall in which stir the 
air and so create a wind. This idea is explained in Lucr. vi. 53S-556 
and was the notion of Anaximenes : Anst. Meteor, u. 7. 365 b fipt\o- 
fj-tyrfv Tr/v yqv KaX (r)pcuvofitvr]v prp/wcr6ai Kol xnro tovtwv twv airopprryw- 
jjitvtov koXidvujv iiAircTrTovTwv <TiUcr&aj.. So too Seneca, Nat. Quaest. vi 
20, in explaining Epicurus' theories of earthquake says: 'fortasse 


enim aere extnnsecus alio intrante agitatur, fortasse aliqua parte 
subito cadente percutitur et inde motum capit '. 

There can be no doubt as to the meaning, but the text is uncertain. 
The MSS. have «V tov Trlimar tls iSd<f>ij ets ouTpoctStis T<Sirovs. Usener 
obelizes the first tls and suggests in his notes that it may represent some- 
thing like tiKovra or iKkt\vjxtva, but Hermann's simple emendation tl<ra>, 
mentioned by Usener in the preface, seems to set the passage right. 

9. ^KirfeufjiaTourra is again a correction of Usener' s for ix irvevixaruiv. 
A participle is badly wanted, and this gives just the sense required : 
we may compare ■7rnrveu1xja.Tioft.ivov, § 100. 7> and TrvcvfixniaQivTos, 
§ *°3- 9- 

10. lw.i\-r\u.p.ivov of Q is probably right : TreniXruxivov of the majority 
of the MSS. is certainly wrong : there is no question here of the con- 
densation of air. 

(koi) kot' afrrV Si . . . • the second main cause : the communica- 
tion of a shock owing to the fall of iha<j>r) There seems to be nothing 
quite like this notion elsewhere. Lucr. vi. 557-576 has the idea of the 
fall, but regards it as due to wind and causing wind, as above, 1 b, and 
Democntus too (Seneca, Nat. Quaes/ vi 20) connects it with the 
motion of a subterranean stream. The MSS. have Kara. ravTTjv : the 
sense demands Usener's restoration: cf. § 103 7 

SirfSoorf, ' the distribution ' of the shock. 

12. d»Tcnr65oaii', ' the return' of the shock • the movement reaches 
a firm, rocky piece of earth and is repelled : so, with his general 
notion of wind, Lucr. vi. 568 fif. 

Airaer^crji . sc. f] KiVtjcrts. 

§ 106. 2. y^co-ilai . Usener, who puts a full stop at d7roriA.tur&u, 
suggests in his notes that Svvarov is missing it is probably another 
instance in which «vSe'x«Tai or the like must be supplied • cf. § 92. 3, 
§ 101. 4. 

(c) (z 3 Volcanoes. § 106. 3—7 There follows a short passage dealing 
with the genesis of wind, which is palpably fragmentary It does not 
seem to be part of a general theory of wind, though Bignone appears 
to take it as such, but rather of its origin in connexion with some 
other phenomenon. Usener is inclined to attach it to the section 
dealing with cyclones (§ 104 above), but it does not seem to fit well. 
Comparing it with Lucretius' description (vi. 680-702 and especially 
694—700), I am inclined to beheve that it formed part of a section on 
the cause of volcanoes. Lucretius explains that there are subter- 
ranean tunnels from the sea underneath Aetna, and the water which 
thus enters causes the wind which drives out the flames, &c. The 
passage in Lucretius has also been unfortunately mutilated, but we 
may notice the lines : 

et penetrare mari penitus res cogit aperto 
atque efflare foras ideoque extollere flammam 
saxaque subiectare et harenae tollere nimbos, 

COMMENTARY. §§ 105-106 

■which correspond well enough to the second half of the first sentence 
of this section. If this theory be right, a considerable passage must 
have fallen out 

3. tA ii nvtufidTa : Usener suggests that we should read ra Si 
Trvtv/juara. (ravTa), and whether the reference be to the cyclones or to 
volcanoes, or any other phenomena, it is a very probable addition • 
something is wanted to distinguish to. irvcv/aara here from ra. \onra. 
wvtvfjLaTa. below. 

AKX.<>4>u\ias tiv4s • probably the alien matter of wind as opposed to 
the earth of the volcanoes. I do not understand how Usener takes it 
on his theory of the context. 

4. ko9* ilSaTOs d+OiScou cruXXoytj*' will, on my view, be a second 
cause, namely, that described by Lucretius — the entrance of the sea- 
water, which forces the air in the caverns up as wind. 

5. t& Si Xoiird nveujiaTa, ' other winds ' concerned in the eruption 
apart from the special ones with which he has been dealing : these are 
produced when a few wind-particlcs or currents fall into the hollows 
beneath the mountain, and setting the interior air in motion cause 
a spreading of wind. Bignone would read 1-0 Si Xoiirov. 

6. 6\iywv : sc. ww/uitw, as opposed to the iroWa KoiXwfuxTo. into 

which they enter. The word does not seem to mc, as Usener thinks, 
to require emendation Bignone would translate ' few bodies of 
matter holding that the writer is arguing against Democntus, who 
said that when many bodies were in an empty space, wind followed : 
this seems very far-fetched. 

8ia8<5<re<iis, ' spreading ' as the currents set in motion the air which 
they meet and that in its turn stirs more distant air : cf. kot aurrjv Sc 
TrjV ScaSocriv ttjs kcvtJo-cok, § 105. IO. 

(rf) Had § 106. 6-§ 107 4 The writer now returns from terres- 
trial phenomena to more strictly meteorological occurrences, and deals 
with the formation and shape of hail The text is uncertain and the 
meaning obscure • unfortunately Lucretius passes by the subject of 
this and the next few sections with the general statement that it will be 
easy to account for the formation of such things when we have once 
grasped the nature and powers of the atoms (vi 527-534), nor can we 
derive much assistance from the accounts of the theories of early 
philosophers. The general idea, however, seems clear. Hail is 
formed either»(i) by the powerful congelation of particles of wind, or 
(2) by the milder congelation of particles of water: in either case 
together with the process of congelation there is a (? simultaneous) 
process of division which causes the formation of small masses of ice 
instead of the freezing of lhe whole cloud. With regard to details 
both of text and interpretation I am inclined to differ considerably 
from Usener. 

8. kot4 irfj£ii> urxupoWpav • because it requires a stronger congela- 
tion to solidify the subtler and more elusive particles of wind than the 
already more compact particles of water. 


ii- npos nreoxAEA 

aur^r^ l, fo^ 0nf0 T a , ti0n ; the , comin g tether from different 

S 104. 9 above, for the word ; also § 93. 3, § 102 7 

twZtZX**^ l BO MS , S ' L exce P t th *t «ara ,s written as 

two words Simultaneous with the process of conformation is one of 
nFZT'^ caus « the formation of separate nodules of hail instead 

dvW™" LTn' t " SCner rCadS K * Ta W™> ' and a ^sequent 
division but (a) it is extremely improbable that anyone held the 
notion that the whole congealed \ n a P m ass, 'and the/' was dt^ed : 
H™, fl" T°' a a * T W*f»T>rt (') ^e lengthier explanation of 

sEJn J t I" SCC ?? d the ° ry shoWS that ±ls was ™ the case, 
iiignone tacitly follows Usener. 

™t* X S KaT $ T^'" ^P^P -" • • ■: the second theory: it is watery 
particles which congeal, and for this purpose a less severe freezing is 
required. ^ aT a) is a necessary insertion made by Meibom 

10. Sfiou ftfrv, ' a nd at the same time a breaking ' : i.e just 
as in the case of the mmv/uruMj particles, there must be a concurrent 
process of division : the idea is then doubly explained : this causes 
a simultaneous ' thrusting together ' (<nWis) of the particles, and a 
splitting up (Stapprj^tf) into separate nodules; the former process 
makes the individual parts of the hailstones cling together (Kara iUpr{), 
the latter makes them cling together as separate wholes {Kara adpoorrjTa). 
I believe then that with the single insertion of xat the MS. text gives 
a perfectly intelligible and consistent account of this double process 
and that no further emendation is required. Usener, however, adopts 
the correction o/xovpTja-iv (cf. Ep. ad Hdt § 64. 9) for 6/w>u prj£iv, and 
to account for it inserts before it (jrvevna.Tai§*>v be nvaiv). But (a) the 
alteration is very considerable ; (6) the ' neighbourhood of certain 
windy particles' is not required to account for the double process, 
(c) it destroys the triple parallelism of the whole clause (injfiv . . . prjfiv, 

<rvvti>(Tlv , . . 8iappri$iv, Kara >Mpt/ . . • Kara. aOpooi-qra) ; (rf) it introduces 

a confusion between the two explanations : all that is required m the 
second is vSaToctS^ particles (this is made clear again by § 107. 3 £«■« 
iSaroeiStuv tin irvtv/iaTuSuv). The correction is very ingenious, but - 
to my mind quite wrong. Bignone's translation again follows Usener's 
text without comment. 

1 1 . vijfuaif : the process of union of the parts m a whole as opposed 
to 8iappr)£ty the breaking up into separate nodules : the particles con- 
geal, but in single nuclei. 

n-oioufi&T)* agrees grammatically with prjiiv, but in sense, of course, 
also with ■jrijfif. 

1 a. Kara fUpi\, as far as regards the parts of the nodules as opposed 
to Kara a$po6np-a, as far as regards the individual nodules as separate 
wholes. With the general idea of the second theory we may compare the 
notions of Anaximenes, x<£Aa£ai' St (AcflAZ/Sor&u), iwetSav to Karatf>ep6- 

COMMENTARY. §§ .06-107 3,3 

p**ov S&up Tjyj (Aet. iii. 4. 1) and Anaxagoras xJXafrv & Srav &w6 rS>v 
*ay<rr»v v «pw npowfy Tl ya *pi„ r^v -rfy, & Sf, rat* K «ra<popaU <W 
ifmxpovfxtva trrpoyyv Aovrai (Aet. ill 4 2) 

§ 107 1. f) hi ^«pi+Vp et o . . . : the writer proceeds to consider the 
cause of the round shape of the hailstones and suggests (1) that the 
corners are rounded off as they fa]] ; (2) that as all the composing 
particles come together in exactly even quantities and at even rate 
from all sides, the round shape is naturally formed: this is true 
whether the particles are of wind or water. 

2. -ra„ 5.k P w dironjKo,!^ • this is stated as Epicurus' theory by 
Aet in. 4 5 o-rpoyyuiWW&u Si r^v x ^ay K al toy itrbv drrfi rij S 
(Mutpas KaTaQopas VTroiren\a<rpivov . 

icol iv Tfj owrcio-ei . . . this most ingenious idea is again implied in 
beneca, Aat. Quaes/ iv. 1 2 or 

rxTiZf*" ' ^ A.**!* ^ VaXis ™P*™**w notice the extreme 
carefulness of the description it seems to be taken direct from some 
philosopher's theory. 

is ^Y«t«u . but unfortunately we cannot attribute' it to its author. 

3. ubaToeiBu^ : Usener for some reason adopts the reading of F, 
vSaroiroLw, against that of all the other MSS., which preserves the 
parallelism and is strongly supported by vSarociSuv in § ro6 10. 

(e) Snow § 107. 5-§ 108. 4 A section naturally follows on snow 
The text is again corrupt, but the general sense is clear, and a series 
of brilliant emendations have greatly improved the MS. reading. 
There are three theories (1) that water is driven out of the clouds, 
which subsequently congeals in cold regions below ; (2) that the 
pressure of clouds on one another congeals the water into snow 
inside, so that it falls out in that form, (3) that the friction of con- 
gealed clouds causes bits of snow to break off along the edges The 
last is perhaps the most typically Epicurean explanation. Lucretius 
again passes over the question without comment (vi. 529} 

5 ffBa-ros XtTrrou . . : the first theory . fine particles of water exude 
from clouds of the right atomic formation provided with pores to fit 
them, and entering cold regions below become congealed into snow 
flakes. This was the theory of Anaximenes and Anaxagoras. 

6. Si& irrfpwi' a striking correction of Ktihn's for Suwpopwv (variously 
accented) of the MSS. 

6Xi+ns, Usener. Oktycux; MSS. • the writer uses S«£ with acc. rather 
than gen. in this sense, e. g. Sta two. ixr\vpa.v . . . i/ai^patriav just below, 
and the accumulation of genitives would be almost intolerable. 

7. ft<|>wf iti fliri ttv€uy.&T(>>v <r$o%pis a series of corrections for the 
MSS. vt<f>u>v koll viro/AViJ/xaxos cnropaj, which is clearly nonsense. 
Usener excludes Kal, but I have accepted Bignone's correction Atl 
(cf. § 103. 5) 

8. iv i~fj +opa: i.e. in its descent. 

9. KaTuWpw, Cobet, for Kartor€pov 
■ntpiaraaiv . see §§ 92. 3, 102. 7, 104. 9, 106. 9. 


icol koto irf)5tf the second explanation : the congelation of 

the snowflakes may take place inside clouds of sufficiently fine 
texture, and their exudation caused by the pressure of clouds in 

10. 6y.o.\f\ ipai6ryjra : the clouds must be fine in texture to produce 
such fine particles as those which compose snow : they must be of the 
same texture all over (ppuM)) to cause the evenness of the formation 
of the snowflakes ■ cf of the formation of hailstones, § 107. 2, 7rdV- 

ToStv . . . Kara pipr] o/xaAoW Trtpiurra/jLfvwv. 
l\owriv, Meibom, for l^ovcrav or i\ovcra. 
Toiaunj, Froben, for rouivrqv 

12. Before 6SaToei8£it' Usener inserts (t£v) unnecessarily, vSarotiSwv 
Kot (rvfJiTrapaK€iiitv(Dv are conditions which must be fulfilled by the 
clouds. Bignone translates ' when the watery elements are pressed by 
those near them ' : I do not see how this can be got out of the Greek 

owuoxk in the technical sense : the driving together of particles to 
form the flake: see § 106. n. 

13. 8 fidXicrra ya^Tai Iv tc3 dlpi : i.e. this process of o-uvumtis, the 
driving together of particles by an external agency to form things is 
especially frequent in the atmosphere, where there is greater freedom 
of movement. We have seen it in the case of hail in § 106. 11. The 
clause is curious, but not, I think, unnatural There seems no 
necessity for Usener's iv t£ iapi, though Anst. Meteor. 1. 12. 347 b 

Says at Si xaAa£ai ylvovrai eapos fiiv ko\ ovtopivov pLaXurra. 

§ 108. I. Kal Ka-ra Tpl«(u>* %k vt^Ctv . a third possibility : the clouds 
themselves may be congealed, and by their friction cause the flakes of 
snow to spring off by a kind of trituration : a specially Epicurean 

2. A"ir<$7raX<rif . a technical word : the particles which form the con- 
gealed clouds are always in a state of vibratory movement, and the 
friction enables lhem to ' leap away ' from the cloud. 

of XajiSrfpoi to, Schneider, for a.vaXap./3dvoiro or avaXap.fid.voi to. 

3. aOpoio-fxa : again technical, the right conformation of atoms to 
make snowflakes. cf. 100. 3 

(f) Dew and Frost. § 108. 5~§ 109. 8. Dew is next dealt with 
in a section which presents no great difficulty. There are two 
theories of its formation : (1) that particles which form it unite in the 
atmosphere and fall; (2) that particles rise from damp .places, unite 
and form moist drops, which fall again as dew. To this account is 
appended a brief statement that frost is formed in the same ways, 
when the moist particles are congealed by cold air. Lucretius does 
not even mention dew in his list of phenomena passed over : 
vi. 527-534. 

5. Ik tou dlpos is emphatic : in the first theory the origin of the 
moisture is in the air : moist particles gather together there till they 
form a drop big enough to fall as dew. 

7. Kol koto •fwpoe 8£ . . . : the second theory differs in that the 

COMMENTARY. §§ 107-109 


origin of the moisture is the earth : moist particles are exhaled from 
damp places which then gather together and fall once more as dew- 
drops. Bignone would read kot* &va<f>opa.v, unnecessarily . cf. <fmpdv 
for the fall in 1 7. 

Awi forcpwK rivuv : sc. marshes , rj vhara KCKrrjficvw, sc places with 
ponds or streams. 

8. oTois • Usener's correction for toIs, better than Ktihn's ols, which 
is too abrupt. 

9. tlf Ti out6 with oijvoBoy only : cf. crvvoSov wpos aAAr/Aa, l.g above. 

10. frypaaias- Bignone would insert 7raxvrepa?: if anything is to 
be added I would rather insert toulvttis. 

Ka&brcp Ap.ot<us .... the appeal to familiar phenomena is not so 
obvious as usual : perhaps the writer is thinking of such things as the 
formation of steam into water on an intervening solid 

11. TomuTtt TiKa there is obviously a lacuna after these words 
which must have contained (a) the conclusion of the sentence, (i) the 
beginning of a sentence about hoar-frost, as Gassendi long ago inferred 
from the context. I should differ slightly from Usener's tentative filling 
up, (a) because I think (rvvrtXovftfva is unnecessary and not quite 
in accordance with the writer's usual phraseology (cf. § 95. 9, &c ), 
(i) because ov Stac^t/jovrtus trvn-cXetrat twv 8p6<rwv seems an unnatural 
expression I suspect a participle, ^eTa/JaXXo/xeWv or aWoiov/xiviDv 
is lost. 

§ 109. 2 toioutoii' xiviv, Usener, for the tovtw of the MSS • the 
correction is not absolutely necessary, but makes the construction less 
abrupt, and is hinted at by B's tovtw tlv<L 

(g) Ice. § 109. 4-8 A short section on the formation of ice 
follows Two theories are advanced both hold that ice is produced 
by the elimination of particles of round formation and the gathering 
together of those of angular shape, but they differ in that the first, 
which is probably that of Democntus, describes the process as taking 
place entirely in the water, the second holds that it is an external 
formation which then comes and causes congelation in the water. 
The ideas seem rather grotesque to us, but we may remember (1) that 
to Epicurus the alteration of the tr^/iancr/io? of component particles 
is always the cause of change, {2) that round smooth particles are 
always characteristic of water (cf Lucr 11. 451-452), and that conse- 
quently their elimination would be the natural preliminary to the change 
of water into a solid ; (3) that the observation of the formation of ice- 
crystals might well lead to some such idea. LucreUus (vi. 530) again 
passes over the problem with a mention. 

4 2k6Xi<|>ik, ' the squeezing out ', a technical word of the atomists 
for the process by which a particle (or an atom) between two others 
gets driven out usually in an upward direction (cf probably Ep i, 
§ 53- 6). 

5. crxT)(j.aTK7fj.oo : the formation of atoms into a nucleus of matter: 
Lucretius' glomeramen : cf. §§ 101, 102. 



ovrvmr, as in § 107. 12. 

cntaXiriKUK koX &i<uywri*>v : it is a little difficult to realize the difference, 
but probably by a-KaX.rjvS>v he means particles of triangular shape, by 
<5£vy<oviW other angular formations. 

6. rw . . . fitropx'W*"' •" this is emphatic as it is the point in which 
the first theory chffers from the second. 

xal kcitA i(u6ey : again the emphatic point : the nuclei are formed 
outside, and attaching themselves to the water cause the change in 
shape and texture. We ought perhaps, with Schneider, to read 
Kara) (ttjv). 

7. irpo<j-Kpnrii' : the use of this word leads one naturally to suspect 
that this was the theory of Anaxagoras, though I can find no trace of 
it elsewhere : cf. § 90. 8. 

8. wood, ' a certain number ' : the use is odd, but seems vouched 
for by the MSS. 

(A) T7u rainbow. § 100. o-§ 110. 6. The writer proceeds to deal 
with the rainbow. Two theories again are advanced : (1) that it is due 
to the shining of the sun's rays on a watery atmosphere; (2) that it is 
caused by a mixture of light and air which produces these colours, 
which are then reflected by the surrounding air. The former theory 
alone is mentioned by Lucr. vi. 524-526, and seems to have been the 
notion of Anaximenes (Aet. 111. 5. 10). 

9. divo tou t^Xiou • the MSS. have mro, which can hardly be right. 
Usener, following F, omits the preposition : I think it is more likely 
that it is a mistake for obi-d. 

10. kcito Trp<5o-KpioriK . the MSS. have kclt' depot <pvcriv, a palpable 
error. Usener reads koto Kpaxrw, which is excellent m sense, but 
hardly accounts for the MS text. I suggest xara -rrpotrKpio-iv {sar 
depos = Kara Trpocr.) ; cf. § 109. 7 above. If the suggestion be right, 
one would expect this to be the theory of Anaxagoras, though Aetius 
(iii. 5. 11) states that be supported the reflection theory: it may be 
that the writer adopted Anaxagoras' technical term without intending 
to imply his authorship of the theory Bignone, feeling the same 
objection to Usener's emendation, reads koto, <rvp*pww. 

ir. t8i.iop.aTa, ' the special characteristics': cf. -n-poo-Kpia-iv ISCav 

«It« . . . porociSus : i.e. the peculiar combination of light and air 
may produce all the colours at once, or separate combinations may 
cause the separate colours. 

13. Toiatfniy, Usener, for Tavrqv • cf. § 109. 2. 

14. k«xtA iTp6crXa(j.<|>n> irpds to p.<fnf| * i.e. the shining of the same 
light on different parts of the surrounding atmosphere may cause the 
production of different colours : a suggestion to explain /Aoyoetows 

§ 110. 1-6. As a secondary point the writer discusses the shape of 
the rainbow. Here we have two quite different theories corresponding, 
though not at first obviously, to the two theories of the formation of 

COMMENTARY. §§109-110 


the rainbow above: (1) if the rainbow is merely the reflection of the 
sun's light, then it is round because all points of the reflection are 
equidistant from our sight ; (2) if it is caused by the mixture of 
elements of light from the sun and air in the atmosphere, then its 
roundness is due to the fact that one or other of these two component 
elements is actually arranged in round form and impresses its shape 
on the combination. 

2. 81A t6 . . . 6cupcur0ai : the conformation of our aoo-fios being 
spherical, the junction of points equidistant from the earth will assume 
a round appearance. 

3. f\ enWcnv . . . : this explanation clearly goes with the second of 
the two theories as to the general nature of the rainbow. 

4. tuk iv tu A^pi . . . diro$<dv : corresponding exactly, though 
with a more careful statement, to toS -rt <£cdt6s ko.1 tov dtpos, 
§ iog. 10. 

6lt6\lw ■ all the MSS. have to/jlwv, a palpable mistake, which, as 
Usener has seen, was corrected by the insertion of arop-wv after the 
participle A-rro^tpo/jLtftov. 

dwA tou auTou d^pos ■ after these words the MSS. have 7rpoa-tf>€po- 
H-evov irpoi -ri)v o-cXrjvrjv Usener insists, following C. F Hermann, 
that the words from atpos to a-tKrjyrjv are only a meaningless repetition 
of a phrase from the following section Usener also excludes avrov, 
which I am inclined to keep as emphasizing the contrast between the 
light atoms derived from the sun and the air atoms already in the 
atmosphere: all that need be excluded is Trpo<r4>*pop*vov irpos rfjv 

5. irepi^peiaf . Tau-rrji'. This combination (sc. of light and air 
atoms) stretches downwards, a kind of round shape 1 e spreads out 
in the round shape which it assumes from one of its elements But the 
expression is odd and the text rather uncertain, all the MSS. having 
Kadfi<r6a.i instead of KadUcrOai, which is Meibom's correction. 

(t) The moon's halo. § HO. 7-III 2. Three easily distinguishable 
theories are propounded (1) that the halo is formed by air advancing 
from outside towards the moon ; (2) that it is formed by effluences 
from the moon itself, which are checked equally all round by the 
air ; (3) that it is formed by the surrounding air, which is piled up in 
a thick circle either by an external current, or by heat which blocks 
up the channels for its movement The text is rather corrupt, though 
it has been greatly improved by Meibom and Usener. Lucretius does 
not deal with this problem, nor does it seem possible to obtain any 
light from the accounts of the earlier philosophers, from whom no 
doubt these theories are derived. 

7 not the MSS. have ko.1 Kara, their most frequent mistake, due to 

9. dwurrAXotTos, ' blocking ', ' banking up ' . Meibom's correction 
for ivaoTtWovra, a mere mistake due to the neighbourhood of pciftara. 

and &iroeptp6p.tva. 



10. ir«purri)<rai tit : Usener's most ingenious correction of 7repl tt}s 
cJe, based on Meibom's previous suggestion 

koi (x4) vh irapdiraf SvanpiKai, ' without any distinction all along 
i.e. the process of the banking up of the cloudy circle takes place 
equally at all parts, an elaboration of o/juiXStt in 1. 9. 

1 1. iyeurriKkovros : sc. rov atpos, as before ' the expression is loose, 
' the air checks the air round the moon '. Possibly it was the con- 
sciousness of this carelessness which led the writer to add the clause 
8 ytvtrai . . . i-n-tpydo-curdai, which explains the real causes of the 

1 2. -rapi+ip^s, hke rraxyittpi';, is predicative. 

iraxupepls, 'thick in parts', i.e. with its parts closely compressed, 
60 dense. 

§ 111 1. 8 yu-cTcu . . . dircpYdaaaOat. I take this sentence to refer 
only to the last explanation : the 1 banking ' of the air may be due 
either to an external effluence or to the effect of heat. Bignone would 
refer it to the whole paragraph, taking rjroi . . . ptv/xaroi as the cause 
of the advance of air from outside (first explanation) and tj . . . Airtp- 
y6.a-a.v6ax as the cause of the ' banking ' of the air (third explanation). 
The singular o seems to me against this. 

kotA p^prj tivo\, sc. in different parts of the sky during the moon's 
course one or other of these causes is at work. 

2. fj t»)S 6epu.cunas . . . diTepYdcraaOai is not very explicit. Bignone 
takes this to mean that heat seizes on the pores through which the air 
would naturally move and blocks them up, so as to produce the 
phenomenon of the halo. I feel sure that this is the meaning, but do 
not see how it can be extracted from the MS text, with which it must 
be that the iropoi are iTn-rrfiiioi tU to tovto awtpyaxFaxrOan I therefore 
propose the small change to i-rriTr)8euas 

V Further Celestial Phenomena. 

The writer now, with a certain lrregulanty of procedure, returns to 
celestial phenomena, and deals with certain problems which he had 
hitherto left untouched. It would not be right to transfer this and the 
following sections to their logical position at the beginning of § 99, 
because the whole letter is so obviously a patchwork compilation 
without systematic treatment. Usener suggests that this paragraph 
on comets ought to come after the two sections on the planets and 
fixed stars and immediately before that on falling stars. Again we 
may agree that this would be more logical, but there seems little 
reason for supposing that the writer was careful enough to put his 
subjects in the rational order. 

(a) Comets. § 111. 4-1 1. For the occurrence of comets the writer 
suggests two possible causes, the latter being subdivided, (r) It may 
be that they are casual collocations of fire in the sky due to a special 
atomic conformation ; (2) it may be that they are real permanent stars, 

COMMENTARY. §§ no-xia 


and that either (a) some special movement of the sky reveals them to 
us when they were previously hidden, or {i) they move independently 
so that they come into our vision. I cannot at all agree with 
Usener that (2 b) is a mere repetition of (1) and should therefore 
be excluded : see notes. Bignone agrees with me both in keeping 
the text and in the explanation of it. 

5. iripurrdaews, ' a gathering of matter all round ' to form some 
new object one of the writer's favourite technical terms- cf. §§ 92, 
102, 104, &c 

6. fj iStaK . . . flirep ijjias • the second cause ■ the whole heaven 
moves so as to bring the comets into view . compare the account 
given of the motion of sun and moon, § 92 9. 

7. tcL ToiaOTa aarpa is emphatic • the comets are actual Sorpa, 
permanent heavenly bodies, which through the movement of the whole 
sky now become visible. 

$1 afirA . ^k^xxio] yeyitrdai . the third cause • the comets may be 
permanent celestial bodies, A\hich though the whole heaven remains 
stationary, come into view from time to time by their own movement. 
The construction of the clause, as Bignone points out, is ap;ain infini- 
tive depending on a suppressed Swarov or cv8cx cTal ■ c ^ § 9 a - 3> 
§ 101. 11, § 106, 2 Usener excludes the whole clause on the ground 
that it is a mere repetition ot (1), but it differs from it in that (1) 
regards the comets as occasional temporary aggregations of fire, and 
(2 a and 6) as permanent bodies It is essential to the passage to retain 
the clause, which is then parallel to the second possibility with regard 
to sun and moon given in § 92. 9. 

8 Sid Tiva -ntpicnaaiv 1 e some conformation of the atmosphere 
which presses on these normally stationary bodies and stirs them into 
action Bignone again translates 'for some reason' see § 102 7. 

9 ti^i' Tt &Q>&vioiv . atTtas. There can surely be no reason why 
Usener should exclude this clause . the explanation of the disappear- 
ance of the comets is not only natural but almost necessary. 

(&) Fixed stars § 112 1-8 The writer now proceeds to consider 
the problems of the various kinds of motions of the stais, and deals 
first with the fixed stars His explanations correspond exactly to the 
theories of the motions of the stars given in § 92, with which passage 
this iS closely connected. (1) If the whole heaven moves round and 
the stars with* it, then the fixed stars are at the points which do not 
revolve (i.e. the poles), (2) if the heaven is stationary and the stars 
move independently then, (a) if the stars are driven by their own 
whirl (S1V17), the fixed stars are prevented from moving by a circular 
current all round them which keeps them in their place, (<5) if the 
stars advance to the regions where they can successively find fuel for 
their flame, then the fixed stars are kept in one place as it is the only 
source of their proper fuel. We may therefore fairly attribute the first 
theory to Anaximenes, the second to Democntus, and the third to 
Herachtus. The reference is to the polar stars, i.e. as Bignone 


explains, those whose distance from the pole is less than the height 
of the pole above the horizon, so that they are visible all the year 

§ 112 I. riti. acrrpa oTp^+iTai outou S (ruppatfci : the MSS. have riva 
&vao-rp*<f> trax avrov 6 crvfificuvei. Usener's restoration ioTpa for Ava- is 
certain, and he rightly sees that the expression is a reminiscence of 
the Homeric ipierov. . r/ r* avrov (rrptff>enu (-/?. 1 8. 487). That being 
so, it 6eems more likely that the writer should have made the quotation 
exact and followed it with 6 ovfifiaivei, as the MSS. have it, than that 
he should have brought the phrase into line with his usual form of 
expression by writing, as Usener emends, orptfao-Oat avrov <rv/j/3cuvti. 

trrpHxTcu aorou . not merely versatur ibidem, but literally ' revolve 
in their place 

ou pAvov . . . orpfy "at . the first cause : these stars are in a 
stationary part of the heaven. 

2. to KoiiroV : sc. ' the rest of the heaven ' : there is no reason to 
adopt Schneider's rh Xoiiro, ' the remaining stars '. 

3. tWs we may then take to be Anaximenes and his followers. 
Usener thinks the reference is not to the polar stars, but to the theory of 
the Pythagoreans that the ' middle and end ' of the world were fixed. 
But the parallel of § 92 seems to demand the polar theory. 

AXXA icai . . . Koi to fiXXa . the second theory : the other stars per- 
form an orbit, but these are kept in their place by a revolving nng of 
air around them. 

4. TrepieoraVai : with the full technical force of ire/at'crracris the 
encircling whirl is formed all round the star 

5. ^ Kol 81A . . . : the third theory, which is really so different in 
general idea from the other two, is carefully marked off from them 

6. Kcip.ii/a : emphatic, ' fixed ' 

Kal KciT* aXXous . . : the usual caution : the parallel of earthly 
phenomena may suggest several other ways in which the occurrence 
may take place. 

(e) Planets and regular stars. § 113. g-§ 113. 12. From the fixed 
stars the writer passes to the moving stars, and fiist suggests explana- 
tions for the difference between the (apparently) erratic course of the 
planets and the regular orbits of the other stars. The two explana- 
tions given again correspond, but not so completely, to the theories of 
§ 93. The notion of the movement of the whole sky now drops out, 
and the two theories of the independent motion of the individual stars 
are considered (i) if they move according to orbits determined by 
necessity from the beginning, then some of these were regular circles 
and some are interrupted by aberrations , (2) if the stars move towards 
the regions which supply their fuel, then some pass always through 
regions equally open and prolific in fuel, others through irregular 
tracts with an unequal supply, so that their movements are erratic. 
For the latter notion we may compare, m a slightly different context, 
Lucr. v. 696-700. The wording of the passage is a little obscure and 

COMMENTARY. §§iia-n 3 


the text in places uncertain, though I incline, as usual, to think 
Usener's corrections rash. 

9. el oOrtt . . . (rupPtuKci : a parenthesis • ' if indeed it is the case 
that their movements are erratic ', suggesting the possibility that in 
such distant phenomena even our observations may be doubtful. 

§ 118. 1. Tit* Si (o3n>) mhMu. The MSS. have nva Si /xrj 
KcviurOou, which cannot be right, as the question of the fixed stars has 
already been disposed of in the previous paragraph, and the contrast 
now is between the aberrations of the planets and the regularity of the 
stars. Usener boldly emends, on the analogy of the terminology else- 
where in this paragraph, to rtva 8" ofta\w<s xivetotiai. But this seems 
too violent, and I am inclined to think that Si p-q is right and some 
word has dropped out ■ possibly d^w/ioXSis, but more probably simply 
oZt<d, referring back to ovrto . . . o-u/jl/3(uv€i. Bignone would exclude 
KwturOtu as a gloss — not a very probable one. 

2. irap& t& kuk\u . . . : the first explanation • in this idea of the 
whirl and avdyKt) we seem again to recognize the theory of 

3 6ftaXV ... 6 6paX&$ ... 7. ArujuLaXcIs TheTe is considerable 
doubt as to the form of the adjectives. Elsewhere the forms 6/uxXos 
and dvw/xa\os alone are known the MSS. here are doubtful , they are 
unanimous for ofxaX-ifv in 1 3, divided between fyiaXas and o/xa\cts in 
1. 6, and distinctly in favour of uvto/AoXtls in 1 7. Usenet prefers the 
3rd declension forms throughout I incline to think that MS evidence 
combined with the invariable practice elsewhere 13 against it Possibly 
the right solution is, as the MSS suggest, that the writer used o/aoAo? 
but ov<i>/juxX-v«, a slightly more probable form than o/xa-Vrjs. 

4 kcitA t$\v {sc. Sivtjv) S^lo. rla\v dcwjiaXiwis XP^^T ls *- ne MS. text 
and seems to me quite reasonable . the course of the planets is an orbit, 
but at the same time (o/«i) it has some irregularities. Usener emends 
quite unnecessarily to Kara two. SCvrja-iv, Bignone less violently but, 
1 think, gratuitously to «ar<£ nv SXK^v. 

<V8ex<Tai 8i . . . : the second theory, that the fuel track of the planets 
is irregular, seems to bear the mark of Heraclitus. 

5. irapcK-rdo-cLc, ' tracts ' of air surely not ' currents ', as Bignone 

6. £ni t6 a6rb owuOouo-as kotA tS ifijs, ' urging them on (by the 
attraction of appropriate fuel) continuously in the same direction ', 
i.e. in the direction of a regular orbit. 

7. irapaXXa-yrfc, ' alternations ', so ' aberrations ' • for the word 
cf § 95- 8. 

8. t4 8i (new amav . . . : the usual attack on the ' theological ' view, 
which adopts one certain theory : cf § 87. 

10. dorpoXoytaf : here clearly 'theological astronomy ', the view 
which wishes to see in the movements of the stars an indication of the 
divine will . cf. acrrpokoywv rcxyirtuv:, § 93. 1 2 

ir. alnts tiv£>¥ is the MS text, and again there seems no reason 


ii. npos nreoKAEA 

to follow Usener in altering to curias axrrp<av — if indeed that is a possi- 
ble expression. Bignone's irdvrwv is more probable, but possibly the 
writer's expression here was more mild. 

8rak . . . diroXtWi • again a familiar point. The primary object of 
Epicurean astronomy is to show that the divine nature irpdyiMxra ovk 
K. A. i, 

(t/) Difference of speed in the stars orbits. § 114. 1-7. The writer 
next deals with the apparent variety of pace in the orbits of the stars. 
His explanations heie cannot be attached closely to preceding theories, 
nor are they exactly parallel to Lucretius' treatment of the same 
subject (v. 614-649), but they are within the same range of general 
ideas. Either (1) all stars are going on the same orbit, but some 
faster than others, or (2) some are really moving in the opposite 
direction, but are caught back by the whirl of the others and so seem 
to follow them more slowly, or (3) all move 111 the same direction, but 
some being at a greater distance from the centre have a larger dibtance 
to travel The only difficulty of the passage lies in the text and 
interpretation of the second explanation. 

3. irepuoWa of course nom. plur , rbv avrbv kvkXov being an 
internal acc. ircpuovra is the correction in Froben's text for the 


Kal irapd to . uird rr\% aurfjs SiVrjs . with this, the MS. text, the 
idea seems to be that the ' slower ' stars are actually moving in an 
orbit in the opposite direction to that of the ' faster ' stars, but they 
are, as it were, caught up by the whirl of the others and dragged back, 
so that they seem to move in the same direction as the others, but less 
fast The idea is not quite clearly thought out, but sufficiently clear 
to be maintained in the text. Usener alters riji (uVtJs to roiavn;?, and 
in his analysis renders tausam posse esse veriiginem ilia ex orbita 
detrahenlem, the idea being apparently that of a whnl ' of the requisite 
nature' (roiavrrji) dragging the stars out of their course. But (a) this 
entirely neglects rrjv ivavrlav KtvclcrBai, (i) dvTLcnrwfji€va could only mean 
' dragged m the opposite direction ' and not ' dragged out of the 
course ' ; (<-) the facts of the case are against such an idea, which is 
more appropriate to a planet. Bignone apparently accepts Toiairrjjs, 
but agrees with me in the general idea of the passage. 

4 T»js aurrjs 8uti« then is the whirl which moves the other stars 
as opposed to tt)v ivavrlav : cf. rbv airbv kvkXov above. To me the 
expression seems quite clear and natural. 

Kal irapA to irepi^lpcoOai . . : this idea approaches nearly to the 
theory of Democntus as explained by Lucr. v. 621-636, but is without 
the elaborate notion of optical delusion which was a cardinal point in 
Democntus' explanation. We may compare the expressive phrase in 
the Epicurean Diogenes of Oenoanda, Jr. viii. 1. 11 ol /jlcv vi/nj\^v 
fcwvrjv <ptpovrai, ol 8' aZ TaTreivrjv. 

6. to of AirXus ... the same caution as above, § 113. 8. To insist 
on the single explanation is to lay claim to miraculous knowledge 

COMMENTARY. §§113-114 


{TtparevftrOai). Compare again Diog Oen.yV viii. 3 7 /uaiT€<z>s yap 
ftSXXov icrriv to tolovtov t/ dvSpos crcxpov 

(e) Falling s/ars § 114. 8-§ 115 8. The letter proceeds to deal 
with falling or shooting stars, a sequence which would be quite natural 
if we were to follow Usener's suggestion and transfer the section on 
comets to a place immediately before it Three explanations are 
offered, as to the first of which there is great divergence of opinion 
As I understand the passage they are. (1) the falling stars may 
actually be fragments of stars, rubbed off in collision of star with star 
and driven down towards earth by an outburst of wind ; (2) they may 
be formed by a gathering of fire-producing atoms, caused to fall in 
the direction of the impulse started by their meeting , (3) they may be 
formed by a gathering of wind in dense clouds, which is ignited when 
it cannot find an outlet, and then buists out and falls in the duection 
of its original impulse. Userver inteiprets the first theory quite differ- 
ently and alters the text, but in any case the paragraph must be care- 
fully compared with that dealing with comets (§ in) and those which 
treat of lightning (§§ 101-102) and thunderbolts (§ 103) 

8 irapd pepos, ' in part ', almost ' in individual cases as Bignone 
translates it. It may possibly be used in a more strictly local sense, 
' in places ' cf hara. peprf, § 1 1 1 1 . 

kotci TrapciTpuJ/ii' Usenei 's correction for «-ai jrapu rplipiv. The 
repetition of -n-apa is not, I think, impossible, and the uncompounded 
Tpa/fis might be used here (see, however, § 10 1. 2), but K cd is unin- 
telligible aftei kuI 7ra^a p-tpos, and the confusion of *at and Kara is the 
commonest mistake in the MSS. 

8— ir. Karh. irapdTpiiJ/ii' . . i\iyofx€v I take this whole clause to- 
gether as constituting the first cause and, with some hesitation, letam 
the MS. iavrwv. The idea is that stars lub together and fragments 
break off, which fall through the atmospheie . compare, as the writer 
tells us, the description of the first cause of the creation of lightning 
(§ roi 2 ff.). The explanation will then be parallel to the second and 
third explanations of comets, namely, that shooting stars are in point 
of fact stars, or m this case, fragments of stars, whereas the other two 
explanations regaTd them as occasional formations. 

If this view be correct, (1) TrapdrpLtpiv iavrH>v is a loose expression, 
for it is of course the collision of stars which causes the fragments to 
be rubbed of?, and not the collision of the ' falling stars ' themselves. 
Bignone, agreeing with me in the general view of the phrase, would 
read Sxrrpwv for iavrwv, which would certainly make the expression 
much clearer, but this I do not consider necessary, as aa-rpmv can so 
easily be derived as the equivalent of iavrSiv from ol Xey6p.(voi den-^pes 
iKTriirrtiv in I. 8 , (2) xoi irapa. Iktttiuctu' will denote a further step m 
the same cause • the fragments of stars are first rubbed off and then 
caused to fall by the action of wind. Bignone takes the words as 
introducing the second cause • but (a) the introductory phrase for 
a new cause in this section is ko.1 Kara., not ko.1 Trapa, and (i) in the 



parallel account of lightning in § 101 the 'falling out' of the frag- 
ments rubbed off is denoted by l£o\urdalv>ov ; (3) the parallel to the 
explanation of the lightning flashes will not be exact, for they are 
created by the friction of clouds: but I take it that the reference is 
intended to suggest the kind of iraparpa[/is and iieirroxra which the 
writer has in mind and not to insist on an exact parallelism of occur- 
rence. Usener however, desiring an exact parallel, reads vt<fmv for 
tavTwv and Trvpo? lKirrto<riv for Trapa. imrrtixriv. But the changes seem 
to me (as to Bignone) unjustifiably violent ; they are not really 
required by the reference to the section on lightning, and they 
destroy the parallel to the section on comets which we should certainly 
expect to find. Bignone notices further that they would make the 
first cause very little different from the third I prefer, therefore, 
to retain the MS text and explain it as above, though admitting that 
it is a rather careless piece of writing 

9. koi -irapa ^KirrwrLv, ' and then by the falling out of the frag- 
ments ' . Bignone, as already noted, takes this of an alternative cause. 

10. <KTTfup.dT«tf«ns, 'the blowing of them out by wind '. Bignone 
renders 'the combination of fire and air, of which we have spoken in 
treating of lightning '. But (r) it is surely impossible that imrvtv- 
/idruxris could imply as much as this; (2) KaGairtp ought to refer to the 
whole clause and not to one word only. 

§ 116. 1. koi kotA crwoW hi . . . y/»T)TtM. The second cause, the 
casual gatheiing of fire-particles, which then fall in the direction 
originally given them by their meeting Compare the first explanation 
of comets in § 1 11 4. 

2. aufutwXias, 'a kinship', 1 e. a gathering of kindred matter, the 
irtpl<muri<; of § r 11. 8- an unusual but quite natural term for the 
writer, which seems to be corroborated by the MS. variations. 

koX Kunjeric : the MSS have xal Kara Kivrj<riv, which might per- 
haps be kept to express a subordinate cause like koX irapa. 2(orraxriv 
in § 114. 9: but the writer's usual practice is only to insert the 
preposition again when he is introducing a new cause, and the confu- 
sion and dittography of na( and Kara, is so common that we should 
probably follow Usener m excluding Kara here. 

08 &y . . . : ' wherever ' is a little awkward in expression, and we 
should perhaps adopt the suggestion made by Usener in his notes 
01 av . . ., ' >n whatever direction '. . 

3. Kal Kara m-eu|jLaTO« . . . : the third suggestion is that the falling 
stars are really ignited wind : cf. the sections on lightning and the 

5. tootou, Usener : the towtojv of the MSS. is a mere mistake • 
von der Muehll prefers the plural all through, irvevfia-mv . . . iWiw . . . 

KartiKi\aiy, 'the whirl' of a pent up body: cf. § 101. 14, &c. 
Jhrlicpfifiv seems to be what is intended by the MS. variants (three 
MSS. have it), though the force of lir- is not easy to see, and Usener 

COMMENTARY. §§ 114-116 

suggests that we ought to read the simple iKprjfa. Von der Muehll's 
iKfnj(w is attractive. 

6. Tie ircpiex'SfTMf, 'from the surrounding matter', i.e. the ttvkv<u- 
^ara i/ux\otiSij Bignone translates ' the bursting asunder of the 
parts on the outside ', but this seems to miss the force of brtKpr)£iv. 

7. 4«po(i^vou, Usener rightly, with -n-vevpaTos, 1. 4 : <£«po/«V>?s (MSS ) 
is again a mistake due to the neighbourhood of <f>opu$. 

8. AjiuOijToi, MSS. . the word, when it occurs (e.g. Dem. 520 20), 
usually means 'unspeakably large, or many', a sense which is 
obviously out of place here, though Cronert would retain it in that 
sense. I do not think, seeing the writer's many references to /xvOos, 
that it is impossible that he should use the word meaning ' uncon- 
tammated by myth ' • cf. especially the conclusion of the parallel 
section on thunderbolts (§ 104 2) p,6vov o p.v&o<; airitrrta. Usener, 
presumably regarding this as impossible, reads amjaip-ot, ' effective ', 
another very violent and, I think, unnecessary change Bignone retains 
Aft,v6rjroi, noting that Lortzing proposed apvGoi, which is the more 
usual word in this sense 

(_/) Weather-stgns from animals § 115 9— § 116 3. A concluding 
ironical paragraph follows on the supposed signs of the weather given 
by the appearance of certain animals — e.g the swallow as the herald 
of spring Such ' signs ' are, the writer says, merely due to coinci- 
dence : the animals cannot exert any influence on the course of the 
seasons, and no animal of any sort, let alone a divine being, could be 
so enamoured of trifles as to play the game of watching for the animals 
and thus bringing the prediction to pass. The irony of the passage 
is in rather marked distinction to the general matter-of-fact style of 
the letter, and reminds us of passages in Lucretius. In his amused 
scorn the writer seems to have forgotten the explanation that it is the 
approach of a new season which causes the animals to appear. 

9 im<n]|ia<n'ai, ' signs of the weather ' cf § 98, where in dealing 
with the signs given by the stars, the writer says that some of them 
are due to chance coincidence, Ka.96.Trtp iv rots ip.<fxxv£o-i irap -r/pZv 

nara ovyKupTjpa tou icaipou . cf. § 98 9 Kara <rvyKvpijo-ti<: naipwv. 

§ 116. 2 k&v (el) . the addition of Usener seems necessary, as is 
Cobet's ay just before 

putpdy x a P t ^ tTre P°>' € "1 • obviously an allusion to a proverb, ' the 
smaller the tnfle, the greater the joy '. 

3. Jp/nVvoi : another certain correction for the MS. cKirtcry. 

Conclusion. §116. 4-12. The letter ends with a conclusion based 
more or less closely on the corresponding conclusion of the first 
letter. These mam principles, and especially the doctrine of the 
origin of things and the infinity of the atoms and space, must be 
thoroughly gTasped, together with the fundamental reason for their 
knowledge, the true pleasure of life : from them an understanding of 
the details will naturally follow. 



5. tou ftuOou <kP^ct|j, the avowed object all through this second 
letter, and one of the chief sources of arapa(ia. 

6. tS>v ' the origins ' of things, 1 e. the atoms and space. 

7 direipias : i.e. the infinity of the two apx*"' ar, d of the xoo-fioi. 

8. Kpi-ngpiuy here must be the criteria of truth on the intellectual 
side, i.e. aio-Orjo-is and tt/joX^is. 

iraBuy . the criteria of rightness on the moral side : they are usually 
included with the other two under the general head of KpiTtjpui 
(e.g. D. L. x. 31), but the separation here is quite natural, and there 
is no reason, with Kochalsky, to suspect the text. 

00 IviKtv 1 e the arapa^La, freedom for the disturbance of theo- 
logical beliefs, which is the greater part of the true philosopher's 


9. t&v KaTd. (A^pos the detailed phenomena of nature and their 

10 KaTaya-iri]owT€s : not merely understood but accepted them as 
a creed Bignone renders ' studied with the utmost care ', which is 
hardly strong enough 

11. f : Kuhn'b necessary correction for r/ 
(av) an inevitable addition of Usener's. 

12. irepicTroi.Tjffat'To, 'made it then own' they have not otherwise 
attained drapafui. 


The third letter, written to Epicurus' disciple Menoeceus, is a brief 
exposition of the philosopher's moral theory It starts with a reitera- 
tion of the two fundamental conditions of the moral life, the right 
understanding of the nature of the gods and the freedom from the fear 
of death, after which the rest of the letter is devoted to a clear and 
logical statement of Epicurus' \iew that pleasure is the end of life and 
of the sense in which this is to be understood 

The letter is not intended, like that to Herodotus, for the use of 
advanced students, but is a simple and straightforward exposition for 
the general reader It is in fact an ' exoteric ' work, as Aristotle might 
have called it, and as such, contains far more references than the 
Other letters to rival theones and popular views The common ideas 
as to the nature and activities of the gods aie passed in review (§ 123) 
and their weakness is exposed, popular notions as to the terrible 
nature of death are condemned (§§ 125, 126), and vulgar conceptions 
of the character of true pleasure are refuted (§ 131) References are 
made, implicitly or explicitly, to ideas of Plato (§ 132), of the Cyrenaics 
(§ 127), of the Stoics (§ 130), of Theotjnis (§ 126), and possibly of 
Epicharmus (§ 1 25) and Mimncrmus (§ 1 26) It is cleai that however 
devoted a disciple Menoeceus may have been, the letter was intended to 
reach a wider public who might still be undei the influence of an 
erroneous philosophy or of the unsupported maxims and opinions of 
popular thought 

For this reason the letter is written in a very different style from that 
of the letter to Herodotus. The expression is almost invariably smooth 
and artistic, free from the crabbed obscurities of the first letter and the 
hasty carelessness of the second It is in the Atuc mood, in a mellow 
and straightforward Greek, wilh far fewer uliosyncracics of vocabulary 
and idiom, and less technical diction than either of the other two letters 
or the Kvpiai Ao£h Epicurus employs such deliberate artifices as 
antithesis and assonance, one can almost trace an intentional rhythm, 
and certainly (though Usener has probably pressed the point too far) 
there is in general a deliberate avoidance of hiatus. As a consequence 
no doubt of its greater ease and fluency, the text of the letter has been 
far better preserved in the MSS. of Diogenes and, except in the last 
three sections, presents few serious difficulties 

The genuineness of the third letter has not been disputed, and in it 
we see Epicurus at his best. He is still the dogmatic teacher, certain 



of the truth of his own position and contemptuous of all who differ 
from him, he preserves his characteristic gravity and seriousness, and 
has, for instance, no trace of the playfulness and irony of Plato or of 
the humour of Aristotle, but the reader cannot fail to find a certain 
attractiveness in this cold, severe style, which seems to bring before us 
a vivid picture of the aged philosopher discoursing to his young friends 
in the Garden 

Introduction $ 122). 

The introductory paragraph presents no serious difficulties. Philo- 
sophy is for all alike : no one is too young or too old for it, and to 
refuse to study it is at any age to throw away one's chance of happi- 
ness. This is an emphatic declaration of Epicurus' essentially 
democratic view : he had no desire to form a new esoteric sect, but 
wished to place his philosophy at the service of any who would 
hear it. 

§ 122. 3. irdpupos, ' past the age ' • the word is not quoted elsewhere 
in this sense, but the neighbouring awpos makes its meaning clear. 

4. p-^iTM is the reading of the MSS. (« B), and there seems no 
reason for excluding ^ which anticipates 7} before Traptkrjkv&cvat : 
indeed it makes it easier to take rrjv wpav with {nrupxtw- 

frv&pXtiv t[ • the MSS. have {rn-dpxtt-v Sipav i), which must be 
emended either by the insertion of the article before wpav, as Cobet 
proposed, or by omitting wpav as a gloss. The latter seems the 
better course, as the repetition of ryv Zpav would be both unnecessary 
and harsh, and Epicurus in this letter shows much greater attention to 
buch points of style 

5, irp&s cuSaiixotnar is of course emphatic : a man might just as well 
say that he is too young as too old to be happy. 

p^irid is a necessary correction for the MSS. /xt) F makes a similar 
mistake immediately afterwards in reading pvrj for /irjiceri. 

7. vtdln toIs dyaflots, ' may be young in blessings ', a rather unusual 
expression : y«d£«i» t£ rpoww is quoted from a fragment of Menander, 
but is not quite so harsh 

Sid tV x&P w T «f ytyov6ruy, ' by the grateful recollection of the past', 
i.e. of the philosophic truths which he learnt in earliei life. The phrase 
has almost a New Testament nng : there are other indications of an 
approximation of Epicurus' language to the Hellenistic, e. g, the use of 
<ri(4, K. A. tv. There is no need to follow Ritter in altering to x<M>^ v - 
For this idea of the value of recollection Bignone refers to K. A. ix 
and Sent. Vat. xvh. 

9. Sid -riy d<f>oPiar Tur ficW^n-wc because he will know the truth 
about the government of the world and the dissolution of the soul at 

pcXrrav : probably ' meditate on ', not * practise ' : so at the end 
of the letter, § 135. 5. Note its combination with u-parre in § 123. 1. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 122-123 


The First Principles of the Good Life (§§ 123-127). 

§ 128. In a brief sentence Epicurus recommends his disciple to keep 
in mind the first principles, which are the guarantee of a happy and 
good life. 

1 wop^yyeXXot' : the imperfect seems to refer to verbal instructions 
given while Epicurus and Menoeceus were together. Oral teaching 
was always the basis of Epicurus' instruction . cf. Ep. ad Hdt., 
J 83. 12 note 

2. <TTotx<ia, 'first principles', cf. Ka.TtcrroLXiuj>iiivov, Ep. ad Hdt., 
§ 35. 9 There he was dealing with physical and metaphysical prin- 
ciples ; here he is speaking of the moral principles, the crrtHx«a tov 

iiakapfHvw . more than ' receiving ' or ' accepting ' : ' distinguish- 
ing ' these moral principles from other <rroix*«* as the ground of the 
good life So frequently in Ep ad Hdt., e g. § 58 6 

The two great principleSj which Epicurus now enunciates, that the 
gods need not be teared, and that death is nothing to us, were part of 
the Epicurean TtTpa4>" L PI JiaKO '>> and form the subject of K A. 1 and 11. 

1. The nature 0/ the gods (§§ 123-124) 

The Epicurean theology is here viewed in its moral aspect, as it 
affects human beings. That the gods, exist is certain, for the know- 
ledge of them is due to immediate (mental) perceptions, which are 
common to all men They are also, as is commonly supposed, blessed 
and immortal, but popular religion errs in attributing to them the 
government of the world, and feelings of anger and love towards men, 
which are inconsistent with their blessedness. They hve apart from 
the world and are not concerned with its changes and chances. Yet 
by the visitation of their images man can be brought to have a share 
in their arapaiCa, so that a place is still left for religion. The removal 
of fear and the communication of tranquillity thus both contribute to 
the good life 

3. (wop: God is a living being, though the peculiar formation of his 
person distinguishes him from all other creatures. 

a+flapxoK na! jiandpiov , ' imperishable and blessed m happiness ' : 

cf. K. A. 1 Tojuuctxpiov KaX a<j>8aftTov. 

4. i\ Koitn] . . . t-oi)cns. ' the universal conception ' the idea which is 
in the mind of every man. This idea was created, as we learn from 
Lucr. v. 1 1 61 If., by the constant influx into the mind of subtle images 
(c"8o)Aa) passing from the persons of the divine beings and thus 
creating m the mind a ' concept ' (irpoA^t/as) : the process is exacUy 
described by the verb vn-cypowpr;. 

tirfiiy . . . irp<xr<£irr€, i. e. we must not attnbute to the gods any 
care or anxiety, such as would be implied in the government ol the 
world, or any feelings of anger or favour towards men, which would 



disturb or diminish their complete happiness : this is where popular 
religion makes its mistake Note how the non-interference of the 
gods m the world is presented as a deduction not from the workings 
of phenomena, but from the nature of the gods themselves cf. Ep. 
ad Hdt., § 77 

7. fleol (ieV yAp eEo-iv an emphatic declaration of Epicurus' position • 
he was not an atheist As he explains in the next sentence, the con- 
ception of the gods is universal in the minds of men and cannot 
therefore be denied 

8. <rapyf|s . yvCxris . the knowledge of the gods is a matter of im- 
mediate perception, not in this case by the senses, but directly by the 
mind. It was the result of an eTrt/JoXij ttJs Siavoi'as (see Appendix, 
pp. 259 ff ) evapyijs is a technical term used of the immediate percep- 
tion of a near object. 

9 (ot) iroXXoi. Gassendi's insertion of the article is essential for the 
meaning and is amply justified by w mXXSv below, 11 10 and 11 

ou yap <)>uX.c£ttouo-h' auTous oious voplfflucriv, ' for they do not preserve 
them as they think them to be ', 1 e they do not consistently keep up 
the idea of their blessedness and tranquillity, but attribute disturbing 
passions, &c , to them But vo^ova-w in this sense is certainly very 
awkward coming immediately after its use in reference to the erroneous 
opinions of men, and there is a strong temptation to adopt Usener's 
conjecture voovatv, which would refer back to tj koivt} tov 8tov vorjcri% m 
1. 4 ' they do not represent them consistently as they originally conceive 
them' (so too Bignone). There is, however, no warrant for the con- 
jecture, and it is perhaps safer to retain vo^iiiova-Lv 

10. d<7Ep$is hi . . Trpoo-d-mw for the general thought cf. Lucr. v. 
1198 ff and vi. 68 ff. 

§ 124 1 ou yap diro^da-eis a very technical clause the 

popular representations of the gods (as taking a part in the affairs of 
the world) aie not 'concepts' formed in the mind by the constant 
repetition of the ivapyrjs vision of the image, but ' suppositions ' or 
additions of the mind (■n-pocr8o£a£6fj.eva), inferences, as Lucretius tells 
us in v 1183 ff., from their observation of the regular sequence of 
phenomena on the earth and in the sky For TrpoXtjif/fs see note on 
vdijeris, § 123 4 above vn-oA^is is defined in Vita Epicurt, § 34, 
as the equivalent of 8d£a, an inference from phenomena, which may 
or may not be true 

2 lv6tv ai p.£yio-rcu fJXcifiai . . 5 <is dWoVpioy fOua^ofTcs a difficult 
and obscure piece of writing. I take IvBev to refer to the o.iro<f>6jartis, 
and to be used in the slightly forced sense ' according to which ' • the 
subject of oLKeiovfitvoi in the next sentence then is ' men ', or rather 
ol iroXXoL The majority of men judge others according to their own 
accepted standard of ethics . they are in the habit of welcoming those 
they see to be like themselves and rejecting those whom they find 
alien. They therefore falsely attach to the gods a similar habit, and 
suppose that they do harm to the wicked and benefits to the good. 

COMMENTARY. §§ r2 3 - I24 


In spite of the slight difficulty attaching to the meaning of IvOtv, this 
seems to me the natural interpretation. 

Bignone takes h>6ev to mean ' from the gods ' and believes the 
subject of o!«etou/u.tvot to be ol ayaSot. He translates ' Yet from the 
gods the foolish and wicked obtain the greatest evils and the good and 
Wise the greatest benefits , for they, accustomed to their own virtues, 
embrace and make dear to themselves those who are like them, and 
consider alien what is discordant with them ' He thus believes the 
tv<?cv clause not to be a statement of false popular belief, but of the 
actual facts . the good do derive benefit from the visitation of 
the images of the gods, because they can appropriate what is like 
themselves This is good Epicureanism, but I doubt if it can be 
derived from the Greek (1) h-dtv and Ik Btdv will be an awkward 
tautology, which Bignone glosses over in his translation; (2) his 
argument largely depends on the words ' foolish ' and ' wise ' which he 
introduces without any warrant into the translation , (3) this Epicurean 
subtlety is alien to the rest of the section , (4) his objection that popular 
opinion does not represent the gods as doing kindness to the good 
and injury to the evil is not sound in a certain stage of religious 
opinion (e g the Psalms) this opinion is very commonly found , (5) is 
there any evidence in Epicuieanism for the idea that the images of the 
gods do harm to the evil ? 

3 pXdfitu T€ the MSS. have j8Xa/3ai aEriai, for which Usener's 
correction /JAa/Jai. tc is not altogether satisfactory Is it possible that 
Epicurus wrote fikdfiai toTs oItIoi*; on which kum/Ts was a gloss? Von 
der Muehll would write at ytxeyta-Tai /?Aa/?i2v atrial rots avOptliTrois . . 
Kai uxptXeiusv. 

3 (toIs dyaOots) seems a necessary addition the antithesis can 
hardly have been left understood. 

5 m% dXXdTpiov vojiJ^ovtes Uscner parallels the construction from 
Plat. Legg. ix. 879 c vo/ju^wv (Ls Tvarlpa rj (irpripu, but adds ' exspectes 
verbum spernendi '. A more direct opposition to u-n-oSixovTai would 
indeed be natural, but is not essential. 

2 Death (§§ 124-127). 

The second great principle, that death is nothing to us, is also 
viewed in its pioral aspect. As the true understanding of the nature 
of the gods relieves us from fear in this life, so the knowledge that 
consciousness ceases at death relieves us from fear with regard to 
a subsequent life. Moreover, since death will not be terrible when it 
comes, there is no reason why its anticipation should disturb us. The 
whole thought is worked out clearly, and as in the previous section the 
Epicurean view is set in contrast with popular notions 

7. f*T)Scf irpds i\^a.% «Tkoi rbv 8dVaToe the simple and emphatic 
expression which recurs frequently in Epicurean documents • cf. § 125, 
K A. ii, and Lucr 111. 830. 



8. -nay AyaBi* . . . tv alo6^a« : as in the physical world, so too in the 
moral world, aUrthjais is the final criterion, but here it takes the form of 
mifJos, the internal feeling of pleasure or pain, which is the measure of 
good and bad. iratfos then, like alaOrjo-ts, has its place among the 


10. to rtjs Iwijs 0it)t<5k, 'the mortality of life', sc. the life which is 
bounded by a mortal period. 

1 1, airctpof . the MSS. have diropov, but the correction of Aldobran- 
dinus and Menagius is inevitable : the false notion about death, 
which is popularly current, adds ' an infinite period ' of conscious 
existence after death Bignone accepting Snrtipov here, but wishing to 
account for the MS. text and noticing Epicurus' conscious habit 
of parallelism in this letter, would insert airopov after dXXa tov. 

| 126. i. ouflJi- yip tarty iv t» l^y SciKOr . a rather startling deduction 
at first sight, but we must remember that to Epicurus the fear of death 
was not only the greatest of all fears in life, but was also the cause of 
other evils (cf. Lucr m. 59 ff ). 

2. yvijtriws, ' genuinely', 'whole-heartedly', a rather odd use which 
recurs m § 130 7. 

3. (Sort fj.dTai.os 6 \{ya>v . Bignone thinks the reference may be to 
Epicharmus (_/>-. 1 1 Diels), but it seems more likely to be an attempt to 
get over what is in reality the popular feeling about death, not that it 
will be painful when it comes, but that the present thought of it is 
painful. Epicurus argues that the two are identical . we do not dread 
the coming of what will not be unpleasant when it comes We might 
reply that death is painful in thought because it will mean the cessation 
of many present pleasures ; to which Epicurus would answer that ' we ' 
shall not be there to feel the loss (cf. Lucr. in. 900). 

5. irapdr . the reading of some MSS. -n-apw is due to the neighbour- 
hood Of Trapuiv in 1. 4. 

6. lirciSV)ir«p : a fuller explanation of the way in which ' death is 
nothing to us ' . so long as we live, death is not there, and when death 
comes, ' we ' shall be no more, for consciousness will be gone. 

10. ouk^t' «u«V : the hiatus (ointri ttViV MSS.) should be avoided as 
in fjLi)Ktr' cleat, § 1 2 2. 6. 

11. dW ot iroXXol. . .§ 127. 4. ouk (SmSexop.&'ois. Having stated his 
own position Epicurus turns to the popular views of death. In the first 
place men are inconsistent . they sometimes dread death as the worst 
of evils, at other times they long for it as a respite from suffering. The 
wise man neither wishes to escape from life nor fears death : he does 
not ask for the longest but for the most pleasant life. 

12. Iv rtj" Itjv . . . : a line has clearly been lost here, and Usener's 
suggestion (in which however I prefer Casaubon's iro&owriv to his own 
cupovvrat) successfully gives the sense. The loss may have been due to 
the repetition t<£ &)v ... to (fjv (note that B originally had to for Tcp). 

{ 126. 2. irpoirtcrraTat, 1 comes across his path ', ' offends ' him. For 
the general sense of this sentence cf. K, A. xx, xl. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 134-127 


4. ■(JJiiorTov is the reading of the MSS. and there seems no sufficient 
cause to follow Usener in his change to 170W: Epicurus writes to 
irXelov because to irXcTorov would be a palpable exaggeration, but 
to rj&urrov is not. 

ouru K€Lt . . . icapmlcTai, cf. K.. A xix. 

6. The second error ; to advise the young to live well and the old to 
die well is foolish . the art of both is the same, and life may be just as 
pleasant for the old, while it lasts. 

6 Si leapayyiKKuy : Epicurus may, as Bignone suggests, have Mim- 
nermus in mind 

7. KaTa<rrpl4>cif, 'to end his life' : so K A XV 11 KaTt(rrpt<f>€v. 

to tt)« Jwijs AmraoTOK, ' the desirability of life ', the pleasure which 
it really has for all. 

9. The third error, which is much worse, that it is best not to be 
born, or if born to die as soon as possible. If a man really believes 
this, why does he not end his life? otherwise, he is talking idly to 
a world that will not believe him ^elpwv has better authority than 
X«*f>ov, which Usener adopts, and should be kept the direct masculine 
is natural after cvr^s. 

10 6 • sr. Theognis 

§ 127. 1. dir^px«Tai Ik tou Ify . the MS text is a quite natural 
construction, and there is no need to drop i* with Usener it adds 
emphasis and force. 

4. iv toT« cvk imSex ^ 61 ' ' e. among the majority of men, to 
whom such a paradox seems absurd 

5. finf|fiofcuWof Si . . o&k iotysvov. The section ends with a short 
aphorism as to the right view of the future : we must not either reckon 
it as certainly ours, or certainly not ours. The true Epicurean has it 
in his hands to obtain the true pleasures of life, and can be almost 
independent of what fortune brings him or when it will terminate his 
life. Bignone notes well that Epicurus is arguing against the Cyrenaics, 
whose motto was /aoVov rj/jLertpov to rrapov. 

The Moral Theory. 

Having considered the two conditions of a good life, a right know- 
ledge of the nature of the gods and a true understanding of death, 
Epicurus devotes the rest of the letter to the exposition of his moral 
theory. He states that the end of action is pleasure, and then develops 
the implications of this view The argument may conveniently be 
divided into subsections as the various points arise. 

1. Pleasure as the motive and end 0/ action (§§ 127-129) 

In considering the purpose of life and the standard of good action 
Epicurus does not pursue the line of thought which he has already 
suggested in § 1 24. 8 (iirti irav &ya$bv xal ko-kov iv aJo-^«rti) of deducing 
pleasure as the. end from its fundamental nature as the only feeling m 
the field of morals. This is a popular treatise, and he prefers therefore 



to reach his conclusion on more traditional and less strictly Epicurean 
lines. The motive of all action is desire • the classification of desires 
leaves as the ' necessary ' residue, the health of the body and the repose 
of the mind ■ this means the absence of pain, bodily and spiritual, 
and the absence of pain is pleasure. Pleasure then is at once 
the mainspring and the purpose of life. We must note however how 
from the outset pleasure to Epicurus is not the positive enjoyment, 
which it was, for instance, to the Cyrenaics, but the negative release 
from pain, which some philosophers regarded not as pleasure, but as 
a neutral or indifferent state. This distinction is of vital importance 
for the whole ethical theory : the right life for Epicurus depends 
essentially on a due comprehension of limits. 

§ 127 8. t£k ^m0u)uuf . . . 4>uo-iko.I fi6vov . the main division of 
pleasures here follows traditional lines (cf Plat Rep. n. 357 and 
Ar Eth 1 1 18 b), and the general idea is clearly brought out with 
examples by the scholiast on Ai Eth loc cit -t/ /xev ovv r^s Tpo<prj<; 
iirtdvfxla. ko! ttjs icr6rjro<i avayKata rj Se tuiv aKppo&UTLuiv <pvcriKt) jj.\v ovk 
avayKala Be' rj Be rSiv TotuivSe ctitiW 77 TOLao~Be eafr/Tos rj roiwvBe atppoBi- 
(Tttov ovrf (j>vcriKr) ovre dvayKaia. 

9. KCvai, ' vain ', ' idle ', ovk ivayxaiaL 

10. tG>v 8' dyayKcuuf . . . irpos ciuto to Jt)c m the subdivision of the 
necessary desires Epicurus follows his own line of thought and leads up 
directly to his main point Some desires are necessary for the 
preservation of life, e g. those of food and shelter, some to the 
repose of the body (freedom from pain), some to happiness of mind 
(freedom from fear) From these he passes at once to health of the 
body and peace of mind — the two foundations of the true Epicurean 
conceptions of pleasure 

ir. doxXtiaiac • atypical Epicurean formation . cf K. A xi el pvqBev 
»)/xas at twv /xereuipuiv xmoifriai -^vii-^Xovv, and vnl TroWa.TrX.aa- iov^ eTrupepei 

§128. i dTr\ai^]s 8tupia, 'the unerring contemplation' to form 
a right choice and avoidance, we must always have our eye on the 
true end. 

3. (tt)s iHx^s) " a necessary addition made by the second hand in B. 

4. tootou -yap x&pw . . . • for the idea of true pleasure or the absence 
of pain cf. K. A. xxvi, xxx, and especially in. 

7. too £wou Epicurus characteristically implies that animals as well 
as men feel the desire for pleasure. 

8. Kot to too < dyao'cV : Usener following BF omits the 
article, which is however surely required . the good of the body is not 
identical with the good of the soul. 

crupirXrjpucreTai : the testimony of the MSS is uncertain, but seems to 
point to (rv/jLirk-rjpiMrtrai, which must be taken as a fut. middle with 
to ££iov as the subject. The parallel of K. A. xxvi. 2 (ecV /at/ o-v/jnrXypoi- 
BShtw) however suggests that the <\.ripa>9r)0'fTai of F may be right. 
For the idea cf. Lucr. ii. 1 6 if. 

COMMENTARY §§ 127-129 


nonne videre 
nil aliud sibi naturam latrare nisi utqui 
corpore seiunctus dolor absit, mente fruatur 
iucundo sensu cura semota metuque ? 

10. {Srav Si &\y£>pev) was the original insertion of Gassendi, and 
there seems no need to 'improve ' it with Usener by the substitution 
of ftrj&ev for fxrj . the addition ls of course demanded by the sense. 
The limit of pleasure is in Epicurus' idea the removal of pain, and 
beyond that point pleasure can only be varied see especially 
K. A. xvui 

11. rfjv ^Sov^v &pxV Ka! tOvos pleasure is the beginning- because 
it is the motive which leads to action, it is the end because its attain- 
ment is the completion of action 

§ 129 2. o-uyy^*'" 5 ^'' the desire to reach pleasure is innate in us 
a strengthening from the Epicurean point of Mew of its adoption 
as the end. cf D L. x, § 137, which Bignone incorporates with 
the Life 

4 us Kayivi . . . KpiyoKTfs we are thus bi ought back to the mo^t 
simple and fundamental Epicurean point of view the feeling of 
pleasure, the immediate sensation, is in the moral sphere the standaid 
of good and bad, just as in the physical sphere, sense-pet ception 
is the standard of tiue and false 7ra6*os takes its place -with ax<r8r)<Ti<; 
among the Kpmjpm see on § 124 8. 

2 Phasurts and pains choice and avoidance (§§ 129, 130) 
Having established pleasure as the end of aclion, it is necessary next 
to inquire what precisely this means in effect It will mean, Epicurus 
argues, that though all pleasure is in Uselfgood, because it is natural to 
us, yet there are some pleasures which we shall have to avoid because 
of their concomitant pain, and similarly some pains which we shall 
choose, because of the pleasure arising out of release from them. It is 
ultimately a matter of calculation , we must balance pleasures and 
pains against one another, and then choose the course which in the end 
brings the maximum of pleasure and the least pain. Two points are 
of interest in this section (1) that we have arrived at something very 
like the Utilitarian calculus of pleasure , (2) that although Epicurus 
here amply refutes the calumnies attaching to the popular idea oi 
Epicureanism and implicitly rejects all the pleasures of excess, yet he 
does not at all abandon the main position that in itself pleasure is 
always good indeed, it is just for that reason that we must avoid 
pleasures which entail pain 

5. crufjufuToe, ' natural to us ', like arvyycvinov above and ouaiav 

6. ou itaaav f\bo]A\v aipoufj.c6a for this and the following clause 
compare the striking fragment (62) preserved by Aristocles apud 
Euseb, Praep. £vang. xiv. 21 (442) a/mcov icrriv {nro^ttvai rou'crSf 
Tivas tovs irovovs, owus ficrOGifiev ^Swas £i«£ovs <rvjJLtf>ipti rwvSt Ttviov 

33 6 


AircxccrOai tu>v -qSovSiV, tva pri) AXywfLtv £A.yi}8ova« x<^*"*<*»"«P<w> where 
the idea of the calculus is clearly brought out. 

7. t6 Suvx«p4s, ' discomfort ', another typical Epicurean word cf. the 
fragment (37) in Ioannes Stob. Flor. xvn. 34 (Usener r8i) irpo<rirrvm 

Tals i«c 1roA.vTeX.c1as tjoovous oi Si auras, AAAa Sia to i^aitoXovOovvTO. 
avrous Svcr^tprj. 

10. 81& to $6<tiv !\*i\> olKeiaf, ' because it has a nature akin to ours ', 
i. e. because it rs that towards which we naturally move : an elaboration 
of the idea expressed in o-vyytviKoV and <rv/j^>vrov above. Cf. K. A. 
vii. 4 ov tvtKa i£ of>x^^ < a ™ to ttJs <j>v<r€u>s otKelov d>p€\0rj<rav . Bignone 
translates ' because of their own proper nature ', but this cannot 
be right. 

11. After aiWoi Usener inserts y to avoid the hiatus. But fUvroiyt 
would be an unusual combination, and though this letter is undoubtedly 
written with care, we are hardly justified in correcting the MSS. on 
purely euphonic grounds, unless as in § 122. 6 and § 125. 10 the 
correction involves no change. 

§ ISO. 1. -rjj fWrroi <n>wi.tTpif)<Tci : quite literally 'the measuring of 
one against the other '—just the word for a calculus of pleasures. 

2 . ftXt'+ci : the simple substantive reads oddly, and Usener may be 
right in suggesting imfiXtyci. 

3. Toua-iraXiv or to I^ttoXlv is the reading of all MSS. except B, and 
we are hardly justified in believing with Usener that B's eccentric 
or &v 7raX.1v indicates an original Ta.fnraX.iv. 

3. Independence of desires (§§ 130, 131). 

Epicurus proceeds to a practical application of his principle of 
choosing only the pleasures that involve no pain. avrdpKiux, ' self- 
sufficiency ', is a virtue praised by all (remember that it was the moral 
aim of the Stoics), and in its application with regard to pleasures 
it means 'independence of desires' (Bignone). It leads us to be 
content with simple pleasures which involve no reaction. Indeed, 
since pleasure is but the removal of pain, simple food and drink can 
give us as complete pleasure as the most elaborate bajiquet. Finally, 
as Epicurus adds, almost cynically, if we accustom ourselves to simple 
fare, we are put into a better frame to enjoy luxury, if ever we meet it 
The thought all through is typically Epicurean and may be paralleled 
from many other Epicurean sources. * 

5. o$x Iw» ira>ru« -rots oXiyois xP^r 1 * " : ^ was not necessarily the 
Epicurean's ideal to have but a little to enjoy all his life, but rather that 
he should be content with what he has. So m a letter to a friend 
(/r. 39, Usener 182) we find him asking for a gift of cheese, so that 
he may make merry. 

7. xptifttQa is given by all the MSS., and though it may possibly be 
a dittography of xpeu/xttfa. inL6, and apK^tfuSa, suggested by Cobet 
and adopted by Usener, gives more the sense which we should expect, 
we are hardly justified in introducing it into the text. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 129-131 


7. yn)<nus: see § 125 2 note. 

8. fjSiora. tjKicrra : Bignone notes that this assonance is employed 
by Epicurus again in a quotation given by Plutarch, de Tranquilhiate 
Antffll 16 6 ttjs avpiov lyKKrra Btofitvos T^Siora -rrpotrtiui irpos ttjv avpiov 

(/r. 78, Usener 490), and had already been used in Xen. Mem. 1. 6 5. 
It is another sign of conscious style in this letter. 

9. to fiic +uo-k<W iraf ifliropunw : all that is required for the satisfac- 
tion of the natural desires is easy to obtain ■ cf. K. A xv and xxi, and 
Lucr v. 1 119 'neque enim est unquam penuna parvi ' 

to Si kikok ■ what is required to satisfy the kcvcu iiri6vp.ia,i, § 127. 9 

10 01 Te Xitoi x"^ol . . an amplification of the satisfactory results of 
avTapMia . plain tastes can fully satisfy the pangs of hunger, and 
when once the ' pain due to want ' has been removed, pleasure cannot be 
increased but only varied • cf. K A. xviu. Usener alters t« to yap in 
order to get a better logical sequence, but the transition is again from 
class to species, as in ko.1 tt)v aurapKeiav Se in 1. 5. 

1<tt\v . ^So^c: after the irepa? has been leached and the pain 
removed, pleasure cannot be quantitatively increased, but only quali- 
tatively changed : therefore the pleasure to be obtained from plain and 
luxurious food is equal m amount (lo~qv). Usener most unjustifiably 
changes ^ovrjv to dbjoYav, believing presumably that the reference is to 
the cloying of the appetite after satiety But not only is this incon- 
sistent with Epicurean doctrine, but, as Bignone has shown, the MS. 
text ' s made certain by Cicero's translation of the passage, de Fin. 11. 
28 90 ' negat enim tenuissimo \ictu . minorem voluptatem percipi 
quam reous exquisitissimis ad epulandum ' 

11. to dVyouf kot' JeSeiaf, 'that which is painful by way of defect ', 
i.e. the pain arising from an unsatisfied want, as in the case of hunger. 
Another characteristic phrase repeated in K. A xxi 

§ 131 1 Kai n&la kch uowp . . - a still further limitation of the 
general principles to a particular instance 

tr\v dtcpoTdrne . ^Borrjc . i c. the pleasuie of aTrowa, fieedom from 
the pain of hunger 

2. to owe0i'£eii' our . : a summing up, referring the conclusions 
just reached to the geneial principles of the earlier part of the para- 
graph - simple living is the best for the health of the body and the 
purposes of life. 

4 o-u|iTr\iip*(i)TiKOk' ■ one more characteristic word : cf. ti(rvfji.w\7jpu>Tiiv, 
§ 133- 4 

5. Kai toIs iroXinrcX^crif . ■ a new and almost ironical consideration 
plain living'puts us into better condition (both physically and mentally) 
for the enjo>ment of luxury, if we do at long intervals come across it. 

6. -irpoaepxofi^ous . though it has inferior MS. authority is better 
than 7rpoo-tp)(OfLcvoi.s with toZs iroXvreKtcriv. 

Ka\ irpos rf)f Tux>\y ■ ■ • a more serious reason . if we are accustomed 
to simple living, the attacks of fortune cannot hurt us, for we are used 
to being content with a little. " » 

IS7» Y 



4. The character of true pleasure (§§ 131, 13a). 

Having now explained clearly what in effect is meant by making plea- 
sure the end of life, Epicurus is able to refute false conceptions. He is 
not encouraging gluttony or sensuality, which bring with them greater 
pains, but the higher pleasure of a simple life, which satisfies the needs 
of the body and keeps the mind free from trouble and therefore able 
to devote itself to the study of philosophy. It is interesting to see that 
even apparently among contemporaries there were calumnies abroad 
concerning the nature of 'Epicureanism'. 

9. icat tAs iv diroXaucrci KeijiA'as. The MSS. have koi Tas tCiv : twv 
is rightly excluded by Usener and must have come from -ras twv 
io-wTiov just before. 

us rti-es . . . vopHouoiv • notice the three classes of persons who 
make misrepresentations (1) those who do not know the true doctrine ; 
(2) those who know it, but do not agree with it, philosophical 
opponents ; (3) those who cannot comprehend it — another piece of 
careful writing. Bignone points out that under (2) Epicurus is think- 
ing primarily of the Cyrenaics who regarded &7rovi'a as a purely neutral 
state (' the condition of the dead ') and only the starting-point of true 
pleasure. The doctrine of the ' limit of pleasure ' is the really essential 
feature of Epicurus' own theory. 

§132. 1. diroXauo-cis : there seems no reason for Usener's change 
to the singular dn-oAavcris it means individual acts of ds-oA-avcris. 

4. n^<fnue A.ov«j-|xds, ' sober reasoning ', a rather strong metaphorical 
use cf Arist., Metaph. 984 b 17 olov v^uv Trap ttKrj Ae-yon-as. Notice 
that Epicurus is here surreptitiously introducing a new point The 
characteristic pleasure of the mind, freed from fear, is philosophical study. 

5. t&s B<S£as, ' opinions are in particular of course mistaken 
opinions about the gods and about death . Epicurus is here working 
back to the two fundamental principles laid down at the outset of 
the letter. 

it uy : preserved only by B its omission in the other MSS. has led 
to the filling out of the construction by d<£' ov or d<£* wv in the earlier 
printed texts. 

5. Prudence (§§ 132-135). 

After establishing the general character of his ideal, Epicurus 
proceeds to consider the method of attaining it. It is clear that the 
right course of action will not be discovered by instinct, as it might be 
supposing all pleasures were not merely dyaOd but cuptra. It is neces- 
sary in order to live the truly pleasant life to have ' a right judgement 
in all things ', based upon a calculation of the less and more of pleasure 
and patn. This right judgement Epicurus characterizes by the old 
word <f>p6v7)<ri<i, always with philosophers the practical as opposed to 
the speculative wisdom . it is at once the apxq, the beginning of any 
step in the right direction, and the (Uyurrov ayaBov, the best thing 

COMMENTARY. §§ 131-133 


a man can attain. It is indeed more valuable than purely speculative 
wisdom, a-otpia, which cannot issue in any action, but can only lay 
the foundation of action in a true knowledge of circumstances. And 
what will be the instruction given by <^p6v7]<ri<: ? It will be the recom- 
mendation of the accepted virtues, for it will show that the pleasant 
life is really that in which honour and justice are practised. Thus by 
a strict train of reasoning Epicurus, starting from his first principle of 
the pursuit of pleasure as the ideal, reaches the acceptance of the 
recognized standards of morality the answer to his detractors is now 
complete. He concludes with a paneg}nc of the prudent man, the 
details of which must be considered as we come to them 

9 SiSdtrKoutra is Usener's necessary correction of the MS. reading 
SiSda-Kovcrai which must merely be due to the neighbourhood of the 
plural aptrcii. 

10 koX Sikcuws " notice how Epicurus includes the central word of 
Platonic elhics and ordinary morality — not without intention 

(ouSe . . kcu Sikcuws): Stephanus made this essential addition cf. 
K. A. v The omission must be due to homoeoteleuton. 

§ 133. 1. iirti nVa fon^tis . . • a panegync of the <£poVi/xo9, in 
which he incidentally returns on much that he has said before U is 
the <£/x)h/j.os who knows the conditions of life, namely the true under- 
standing of the nature of the gods and of death (§§ 123-127), who 
realizes the government of the world and the responsibility of free- 
willed man, who sees in chance not a determinant of action but an 
opportunity, and prefers to suffer with wisdom, rather than to prosper 
through folly. The section, largely through the corruption of the 
MSS., is undoubtedly the most difficult in this letter. 

2 S<xia, ' holy ' or ' reverent ' opinions, such as a truly religious 
man may hold — a singularly bold word seeing his direct opposition to 
ordinary religious beliefs. But, as has been seen already (§§ 123, 124), 
religion had a very real place in Epicurus' s> stem 

3. to ttjs fyucrcttis . t^Xos ■ Jr. pleasure : cf § 129, where pleasure is 
described as avyytvua'w and o-i'/«£vrov and is said <ftv<riv Zx iLV 

4 to piv tuv iyaBuv Wpas re. iwovia, the freedom from pain, 
which can easily be secured by simple means- cf. § 130 

euo-uji-irX'qpuiTOv cf § 1 3 1 3 vytti-'as . . . (TVf>.Tr\.rjpwTiK.6v, and for 

CV7r6pi(TTOV, § I3O. 9 TO fJ.€V <pVtTlKOl' TTULU €V7r6f}l<TT6v CCTTl 

5 t6 Si t&v Kaxuv, ' the limit of evils ' in a slightly different sense, 
'the possible extent' of evils. For this idea that all pain is either 
slight or of short duration compare K. A iv The sentence so far has 
resumed the ideas of the Epicurean Ter/)a</>ap/ia/cos cf. K A i-iv 

6. tt)v Si uir<5 tivuv Seo-TroTiv elo o/yofi^tnrjv itAvrw • sc tifxapfitVTjV, 
' destiny ', or ' necessity ' as viewed in the moral sphere. The earlier 
thinkers, and especially Democntus, having insisted in their physical 
theories on an all-controlling avayK-rj, were compelled to admit deter- 
minism in human actions. From this necessity Epicurus only escaped 

Y 2 



(as we know from Lucr. ii. 216 ff.) by the device of the irapey*cWt?, 
the original spontaneous swerve of the atoms in their downward fall, 
which in the conscious aggregate of the tfrvxn was tne cause of free will. 

7. iyyeXcirros : with some hesitation I propose this correction for 
the varieties of reading found in the MSS , ayyi\<ovro<!, Ayyt\u>vrot, 
AyycAAovros. Usener had already suggested this sense in his reading 
Stay<A.«u»Tos, but the correction is more violent. It is true that iyyeKZv 
is elsewhere only found with the dat., but Karaytkdv similarly takes 
acc. in Eur. Bacck. 286. Bignone prefers to 'keep the MS. text' 
dyytXXovrot, and to follow on in the lacuna with tipLa.pp.tvr)v Ktvov 
ovo/xa tlvai But (a) aytWovTo'; is not the universal readme: in the 
MSS., and the variation strongly points to a compound of yeXav, 
(i) the verb ayytXXtiv in the context seems to me very unnatural. 
Ktihn's avikovrK is too far from the MS. text, and does not give the 
right sense : the ' prudent ' Epicurean does not entirely annihilate 
destiny, as is seen by what follows 

After iyytXSivTos there must be a lacuna of some considerable 
extent All are agreed on cipapptvijv • Epicurus could not have left 
tt)v . ■ Sc(T7roTiK alone without explanation, and that €}y must 
be the word is shown by rjj t£>v fftvcriKwv (£ju.ap/«Vj7, § 134. 2 It is 
also clear that towards the end of the Lacuna there must have been 
the words a piv kclt' dydyKyy, corresponding to a Se diro tv^s- So 
far there is agreement, but as to what the lacuna exactly contained and 
its relation to lhe rest of the sentence opinions differ. 

(1) Usener, who believes that the whole section down to § r35- 4 
dp6u>&r}vat 8ta.Tavn)v is one monstrous sentence, would write the lacuna 
(tipapp.tvr]V teal fj.aW.ov a fjciv war' dvdyKt]v ylyvtrrdai Xiyovro<£). But 
(a) in a letter so carefully written as this, so clumsy a sentence is 
highly improbable, and moreover the supposition involves the alteration 
of v7roXap.{3dv<i>v, § 134 5, and vojaI£(ov, § 135. 2, to vTroXap-ftdvovros and 
vo/ju£ovto<; , it is far more probable that the sentence rlva vopt^tn civat 
Kptlrrova ended in the lacuna ; (b) as Bignone shows, the resulting 
argument is most illogical Epicuius could not have written that the 
<f>povi(jLos sajs that ' some things happen by necessity, others by chance, 

&c because necessity cannot be called to account, &c.' On the 

other hand the clause Bia to rr)v piv dvdyicrjy ktX. would give a good 
reason for the belief that most lhings are within our control 

(2) Bignone himself would therefore place a mark oPinterrogahon 
after K€v6v oropa ttvai, which he supplies after tlpapfxevrjv, and would 
then proceed <ro<po% yap 6 tt/v Tutv<0V mjpiujTa.TT]V alrlav Trap 
r)fxa<> Ti8ifitvos, £>v & fxiv kclt" avdyKijv yLvovrai (presumably a slip for 
ylvtrai), a. Si ktA. &c. 'For the wise man is he who places m our 
hands the chief control for the things that happen, of which some 
occur by necessity, others by chance, &c.' This is much more likely 
to have been the sense of the passage, and 

(3) I should only differ from it in putting the mark of interrogation 
immediately after tipapptvrjv (reading iyyr\tovro?) and supposing that 

COMMENTARY. §§ r 33 -i 3 4 


the rest was a little simpler, e g. ovros yap rfjv tZv yLvofuvwv KvpuDTdryv 

cut Cay irap tj/acls tLBctcli, Siv & fitv kolt avdyicrjv ytVrrcu Sl 8e ktX. 

In any case note that the emphasis falls on Trjv . . Setrironv . . . 
ir&vruv Epicurus does not deny that avdytcrj causes many things, but 
not all, and the greater part of our lives is under our own control 

8. a &i diro tux^s : Epicurus' conception of ' chance ' seems to be of 
a force co-ordinate with necessity Natural law causes the inevitable 
sequence of events, but it is chance that rules the production of 
particular causes, e g. ivdyKVj causes the motions and meetings of 
atoms, but chance causes them to fall into the positions which create 
our world. Such a notion is of course unscientific, but is very promi- 
nent in the Epicurean philosophy, e.g. Lucr. \i 30 ' quod fieret naturali 
seu ca<5U seu vi ' Guyau (La Mot ale cPEpnure) lias seen in this 
idea the working of the 7rap<ry/cXicrts in inanimate nature, just as 111 the 
soul it produces free will, but iheie is no evidence (or this, and most 
probably Epicurus had not fully thought out the relation of his notion 
of chance to the rest of the system. 

trap* r), ' in our control ' 

q dfuireudufoi/ etfai, 'cannot be called to account'; i.e. if ivdyK-r) 
were universal, as the determinists hold, neither could there be 
responsibility in the moral sphere, nor the occasional 'lapse '111 the 
ph)sical sphere, which we call chance. It means more than 'destiojs 
responsibility ' (Wallace) for it is opposed not only to the dSconrorov of 
our actions, but also to the ioraTov character of tu^t? 

10. AhianroTov, 'not subject to the tyranny ' of detei minism we are 
morally our own masters 

§134. 1. iiret upetTTov *)v the most emphatic and famous 

declamation of Epicurus' greater hatred of physical detei minism than 
even of popular religion 

t«S irept 6cS>v p.u6u . 1. e the popular story of the gods' interference 
in the affairs of men, and of their assignment of rewards and punish- 

3. TrapaiTrjo-evs by worship of the gods we may, according to 
popular religion, hope to escape from the destiny which is our due. 

uiroypd^Ki, ' lightly sketches', ' hints at'. 

4. tV St TuxTif . • finally the prudent man understands the nature 
of chance it is not a divine force, nor a direct cause of good or evil, 
but it does afford occasions for good and evil. There is considerable 
doubt as to the punctuation and text of this section. 

(1) Usener continues the construction of the main sentence, placing 
a comma after the parenthesis and reading {nroXafuPdvovToq 5 . . . vo/u- 
£o»ros § 135 2. But apart from the improbability of the immense un- 
broken question, there is no authority for the genitives and the MSS. 
have viro\a.(jif3dv<i>v (!nro\d/j.f3avov H) . . . vo/xt^o>v (yo/xi£(iv F) 

(2) The variants just quoted might suggest {nro\afnj3dvovr . . vo(u{€ir 
constructed after Sia to in § 133. 9. but, as Usener points out, the sense 
makes this impossible. " 



(3) With Bignone's view of the lacuna in § 133. 7, it is possible to 
retain the two nominative participles vToAa/ijSatw, voplfav, placing 
a comma after the parenthesis and referring them right back to the 
subject of the main sentence which begins m the parenthesis. 

(4) But this too makes a very clumsy piece of writing, and I prefer, 
while retaining vTroXap.0a.vinv, to read vopll^u (to which F's vop.i{tiv 
seems to point) in § 135. 2. A fresh sentence will then start at Trp> Si 
Tvxyv of which vofjlfcti ib the main verb. 

6. ouTt ap^Pcuot- otTtav (MSS ), ' nor an uncertain cause ', but (a) this 
is exactly what Epicurus did think chance to be (cf. ttjv 8k tv^tjv acrrarov, 
§133 9), and (J>) as Bignone points out, the statement would not 
be at all borne out by the explanatory parenthesis Bignone com- 
paring Democntus' aphorism rvxv f*.tyaX6&u>pos, aAA' a/Jt/Jaxos would 
read out* d.(3i(3aiov aWtav (fityaXoStopov), or to put it more in Epicurus' 
phraseology ovrt a/3tfia.iov oItlciv (jj.eyCcrriov dya.6£>v rj KaKwv) ; chance, 
that is, is not to be regarded as the cause, however uncertain, of the 
greatest blessings or ends — it can only confer the opportunities for 
good and evil and not the lasting blessings or eviU> themselves, which 
are Trap' tj/*Ss I think his suggestion is on the right lines, but too 
obscure in phraseology, and prefer to think that irdvrwv has dropped 
out before afttfiatov curiav (cf. -rijv . BtcnroTLv ttclitcov . . 
in § 133. 6 above) . chance is not the cause, even the uncertain 
cause of everything, for it cannot give the vital good or evil, but 
only the opportunities for them. 

7. (ouk) oTetcu (icy yip . . . Si'Sou6ai it is clear that a negative must 
have dropped out somewhere, andUsener's ovk at the beginning seems 
a better coriection than Gassendi's ^77 (why not ov?) before SCSoa-Oai 
The position of piv is strongly in favour ot a preceding negative 

8 Apx&s ja^itoi . u-iri Taunts x°P 1 TY e " T ® al • 1 e chance may start 
good or evil, but it sliJI lests with us to use the occasions furnished by 
chance rightly. 

§ 135 2 >>opi£ei • see note on 1. i. above. 

f3«XTiof ya,p . . . Ap9u>&T)rat 8id TauTijc as the sentence stands 
in the MSS. it does not make sense Usener reads /3eXria~rov . 
' for it is best of all that a well-judged action should succeed through 
chance ', but {a) there is no authority foi fitXTurrov ; (b) ydp, as 
Bignone points out, is unsuitable ; the parenthesis would not then 
give a reason for the previous opinion ; {c) it is doubtful whether 
Epicurus would have said that this is best ; (d) the idea is at any rate 
alien to the context. Bignone retains (3tXnov but would substitute 
8" aZ for yap, ' but it is still better that ..." I believe that once again 
homoeoteleuton has caused a loss of some words and that Epicurus 
wrote something like (HXtlov yap h> rah tt^co-i to koXws k P Mv 

a-^aKrjvaL p.a\Xov i) to kolkS>s K pt6kv op0a>0^vai Sia ravrqv, a restatement 

? \ th , e P reviou s idea from a. new point of view Madvig's insertion 
0«J opOuSyvai i) to fiij koXSs KpSh) adopted by von der Muehll would 
give the same sense. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 134-135 


5 TauTa oS* . . dOakciTous dyaOois. The peroration of the letter. 
The disciple must meditate on (cf. § 123. 1) these precepts alone and 
with his fellow-disciples, and such practice will enable him to attain 
so complete an irapa^la that he will be a god on earth 

aiavr&v Gassendi's correction for lavrov perhaps not quite 
necessary as iavrov is not infrequently used for other persons besides 
the third. In the neighbourhood of rhv opoiov cr<avT<2 it would how- 
ever be very improbable 

6. (rt) after irp6<s is a necessary insertion 

7. us 0«6s iv dK6puTrots is not a mere rhetorical exaggeration. The 
gods in their perfectly untroubled life aie the ideal of what human life 
might become, and the man who has come near to this ideal might 
justly be said to have become a god on eat th (cf Lucr 111. 22z'dignam 
dis degere vitam '). This explains how, again not metaphorically or 
in mere adulation, his later disciples could speak of Epicurus himself 
as a god, c. g Lucr v. 8 ' deus llle fuit, deus'. 


The Ku'piaiAo'fai are a series of brief aphorisms dealing with Epicurus' 
ethical theory, and in particular with the conditions requisite for the 
tranquil life of the Epicurean philosopher. They are introduced by 
Diogenes Laertius 1 as ' the crown (koXo^oW) of all Epicuius' writings 
and of the philosophic life', and are quoted by name and with 
unmistakable references by Philodemus ' and the Epcurean filters' 
m the Heiculanean rolls, who speak of ' those who wnte against the 
Kvptcu Aofai'. Plutarch/ Diodorus," and Lucian * refer to them 
under the same title Cicero in one passage 7 appears to translate the 
title as ' Authoritative Sayings', in another 8 as ' Selected Sayings', but 
undoubtedly regards them as the work of Epicurus. 

There can then be no doubt that in antiquity the Kv/wk Ao£ai were 
looked upon as an authentic woik of the Master deserving very special 
esteem and consideration. Modern critics have, however, been inclined 
to treat them with less respect. Gassendi, 9 although he gave them the 
title of Ratae Sententiae, yet stated dogmatically that they were ' a Flon- 
legium culled from various writings of Epicurus ', and Usener, 10 
fastening upon Cicero's altei native title Sententiae Selectae, is at pains to 
prove that they are a compilation from various sources put together 
by some faithful but not very intelligent Epicurean disciple. His 
contentions were resisted by Giussani 11 and have recently been fully 
dealt with by E Bignone," but, as the question is one on which every 
reader is bound to form his own judgement, it is woith while to give 
a brief summary of the position 

Usener's chief lines of attack are 1 (i) important points in the 
Epicurean doctrine are omitted and points of secondary importance 
included. There is no mention of the cardinal principles of the 
physical theory or of the Canonica, nor is even the nature of the soul 
explained : on the other hand the points included about pojitics (e.g. in 

I D. L. x 138. 3 PhiL de Ira. col. xlm. 

5 Vol. Here col. xv ibid , col xxvn 4 Plut adv Coloien, 31, p 1125c 

8 Dlod I xxv, Jr. 1, Dmd 6 Luc. Alexandn, c 47. 

7 Cic de Fin 11 7. 20 ' Epicun Kvpias A6(as, id est quasi maxime ratas*. 
s Cic. de Nat Deor. 1 30. S5 ' 111 illis selectis elus brevibnsque sententns, quas 
appeUatis Kvpias A6(as'. 

• Animadverstonts,-p 1693 10 Usener, Epicurea, xlui ff 

II Giussani, Stud Lucr., p. xx^l, note I 

11 Rendiconit del R. /?/»/, Lombard*} di sc. e lettere, 1908, pp. 793 ff, and in an 
abridged form 111 Eptcuro, Introd., pp 8— i6. 



XXXII and XXXVII) are not the basis ofEpicurus' position, which was 
that politics should be altogether excluded (a) Some of the maxims 
read like extracts from personal letters and are quite inappropriate in 
a summary of doctrines (e g X, XX, XXIV) some are even left in the 
second person, as they were m their original context. (3) Many of the 
maxims are mere duplicates of one another (e g. Ill and XVIII, XI, XII, 
and XIII, XXXVH and XXXVIII). (4) There is the gieatest possible 
disorder: all kinds of subjects are jumbled together and theie is no 
sign of any fundamental scheme. 

Of these points the second is easily dealt with ; the use of the second 
person singular 1 in such maxims is common not only in Epicurus and 
is no necessary indication of an extract from a more colloquial woik. 
The other three are more serious and can only be properly appreciated 
after a careful study of the aphorisms as a whole and in detail, and an 
attempt to gather the purpose and character of the work. As regards 
the supposed omissions Usener has certainly mistaken the character 
of the whole work, if he imagines that it was intended as a complete 
summary of the whole Epicurean system. Its purpose is essentially 
ethical, and there is therefore no attempt to explain the physical 
doctrine or the principles of the Canonica (XXIII and XXIV come in 
incidentally as an elaboration of the idea in XXII of the necessity for 
a well-ordered life of the understanding of the external world) such 
knowledge was contained in other Epicurean summaries (e g Ep i) 
and is assumed in the Kvpiai A6£ai. Nor indeed are the maxims 
meant to cover the whole range even of the mora) theory their 
content might, as Giussani has suggested, be described as ' Man in his 
own consciousness and the external world ', and they constitute in fact 
a kind of practical handbook for the professed Epicuiean, by which he 
may attain the life of irapa^ia. This will explain not only the 
omissions, but the insertion of certain precepts which Usener regards 
as of secondary importance, e g the stress laid on the Epicurean view 
of justice (XXXII, XXXVII, &c ) is necessary because the Epicurean, 
essentially an individualist, must be instructed as to the attitude which 
he should take up to the society in which he lives and to its laws and 
customs Bignone ' has also pointed out that some of these apparently 
unimportant points are in reality replies to rival schools of thought, 
but the main guiding principle of their choice is the scope of the work 

As regards Usener's ' doublets ', Bignone has dealt in detail with 
each individual case. It may be said in general that whereas no doubt 
the same ideas do recur from time to time in the aphorisms, they are 
put from a different point of view and gain a new significance in their 
context. If the framework of the Ad£<u is understood, 9 it is seen that 
the repetition is always valuable and significant. Thus, foi instance, 

1 Giussani, loc cit. Bignoae, p. 10 

1 p. 11. * See p. 346 



in III the idea of the quantitative limit of pleasure is stated as one of the 
four fundamental principles of the ethical system, in XVIII it is intro- 
duced and amplified by the notion of the 'variation' of pleasures as 
the foundation of a discussion of the ' pleasures of the flesh '. In XI 
the value of physical science is maintained as conducive to mental 
drapa&'a, in XII it is asserted as saving man from the falsehoods of 
myth, in XIII it is regarded as a necessary supplement to • protection 
from men '. The one instance in which we may with some probability 
assume a 'doublet' is XXXVII and XXXVIII, though even there the 
former seems to lay stress on the universality of the fundamental char- 
acter of the 'just' acuon, the latter on the variabihty of the particular 
actions which m different circumstances may be just or unjust 

The accusation of ' disorder ' may also, I think, be met. It may be 
that some transpositions should be made Gassendi had proposed a 
rearrangement of XXVI-XXX, and Giussani, with his usual passion for 
transposition, would apparently be prepared to carry this further, though 
he does not specify the changes which he would jiropose The charge 
is, however, very considerably minimized, if the true character of the 
'Maxims' is realized They are clearly not intended to be a consecu- 
tive logical whole, and any attempt to twist them into such will neces- 
sarily fail. Rather they are to be regarded as a series of groups of 
aphorisms, each group being internally consistent, but often only 
loosely connected with that -which precedes or follows. The various 
points on which the faithful Epicurean may need instruction or guidance 
are dealt with as ihey occur, and he is left at the end with a whole 
which is complete but not continuous!} consecutive. To establish this 
point, it is necessary to suggest a brief analysis of these groups 1 
(i)I-IV The T«Tpa<^>op/u.aKos — the four fundamental principles necessary 
for the tranquil life, (2) V. The relation of pleasure and virtue, (3) 
VI, VII Protection from external disturbance , (4) V11I-X. The selec- 
tion of pleasures ; (5) XI-X1II The ethical value of physical science ; 
(6) XIV— XXI. The wise man's life m relation to nature, his fellow- 
men, and to true pleasure (this group can be subdivided) , (7) XXII— 
XXVI The tests and standards of moral (1 e. truly pleasant) action , 
(8) XXVII, XXVIII Friendship; (9) XXIX-XXX The classification 
of desires, (10) XXXI-XXXVIII Justice and Injustice, (11) XXXIX, 
XL. The wise man's life in the Epicurean community. This analysis 
might no doubt be varied, and there is often an interrelation between 
group and group, so that some aphorisms might be more justly 
regarded as links between groups rather than as belonging exclusively 
to one rather than the other 1 he question of the amount of disorder 
in the aphorisms must be judged by every reader for himself, but the 
criterion must not be a general framework, such as Usener would 
postulate, but a satisfactory distribution in groups. 

We may take it then that the Kvptat Ao'£ai ts a practical manual of 

1 The individual links of connexion between aphorism and aphorism will be 
dealt with more fully in the notes 



guidance Tor life intended for the professed Epicurean, that it does not 
claim to be a consecutive treatise on ethics, but deals successively 
with the various topics of importance for its own practical end. With 
all the ancient testimony which we have in its favour, there seems no 
sound reason for doubting' that it is the work of Epicurus himself, nor, 
if its character be rightly understood, does its working out seem 
unworthy of him or more appropriate to an unintelligent compiler. 
The picture of the ' true Epicurean' which it represents is consistent with 
what we learn fiom other sources, and in particular from the third letter, 
to Menoeceus. It is based on a relentless working out of the idea of 
pleasure as the end of life (which is characteristically never stated in 
the aphorisms), and though in some details, such as the conceptions 
of justice and friendship, its individualism strikes the reader as almost 
incredibly cynical, yet the image of the tranquil life lias us strong 
attractions, and the vision of the Epicurean community with which 
the series concludes has a considerable beauty of its own. We may 
safely regard the ' Principal Doctrines ' as Ratac, the authentic dicta of 
their Master, and also as Selectac in the sense that they do not attempt 
to cover the whole field of ethics, but only to lay down the conditions 
for the true Epicurean life 

The first four aphorisms hang closely together and form the basis 
of the FpiLurean moral S)stem The principles which they enunciate 
were known to the school as the 'quadruple remedy ' (T«Tpa^>ap/xaxos), 
and are found summed up under this title in the Herculanean Rolls 
1005, col. 4 koX iravTaxfj Traptvo/xfyov (Cronert Trapicrrui p.6vov Us ) fj 
rerpa<pa.p}iaKo%- &4>o[3ov 6 0«os, avvTroirrov {Crrjnert . avala-OrjTov Us ) 
6 Odvaro^, Kal rayaObv ftiv cvkttjtov, to 8c S€tv6v tvtKKapTtprjrov The 
four principles are again summed up as the full equipment for the 
moral life in Ep ill, § 1331 and are dealt with fully and 111 order in the 
earlier part of that letter. The right belief about the gods and about 
death, and the true understanding of pleasure and pain, secure arapaiCa 
for the mind and enable us to aim at dirovia for the body. 

§ 139 I Sums up the teaching- with regard to the nature of the 
gods and corresponds to Ep in, §§ 123, 124 

I. fiaicciptof Kal afyOaprov SO atpQaprov Kal p.aKiipiov, Ep. Ill, § I 23 3 

i4>6aprov, * indestructible i , is a topically Epicurean word, based of 
course on the purely material conception of atomic structure 

offre auro . Trapt"xti. The divine beings themselves enjoy perfect 
aTapafux and do not disturb that of others cf. Ep. 1, § 77. 1 ov yap 
o~vp.<f>(ovov<riv Trpa.yfia.Ttia.i koj. <f>povTi8es Kal opyal ko.1 ^apiTcs fiaxapioTTfri. 

3 iv icSevtl exist only 'in a weak nature', almost 'are a sign of 
weakness' so Ep. 1, § 77. 2 aXX' iv axrOtveLa. kou <f>6fiw kcu Trpo<r8crjrT€L 
t5>v irXtfa-iov ravra ytvcrai, which brings out the meaning here. Anger 
and favour are characteristics of a weak nature dependent on others, 
and not of the perfect strength and independence of the divine. 



Sen/. Val. i has Iv aa6tvtL<^ which would correspond with the passage 
in Ep. 1, but it seems unnecessary to alter the neuter. 

After the first aphorism there is a very important scholium ; see 
app. crit. This obviously bears very closely on the Epicurean conception 
of the nature of the gods. We may notice certain points in the scho- 
lium here, (i) X.6yw dfvfrrjTovt is not likely to be Epicurus' own 
expression, but its meaning will be that the «Su>A.a of the gods are not 
percepnble by a'o-Orjais but only by the mind (cf. Lucr v. 1170 
egregias ammo facies vigilante videbant 
et magis in somnis mirando corporis auctu). 
(2) The following clause obviously corresponds very nearly to the 
passage in Cic. N. D 1. 49 ' nec . . ad numerum, . . sed lmagi- 
nibus similitudine et transitione perceptis, cum infinita similh- 
marum imaginum species ex innumerabilibus individuis exsistat '. It 
may therefore be taken as certain that o£s . ots 8e cannot be 
right . there is no trace elsewhere that Epicurus conceived of two 
categories of gods, and it is inconsistent with such evidence as we 
have . Gassendi's conjecture ov fitv for ovs (j.4v, accepted by Giussani 
(Stud. Lucr , p 234) and Bignone, may be taken as fairly certain, and 
for oS? Si we should read either <Ls St with Gassendi, or more probably 
o'ovs St suggested by Bignone On the other hand, I regard Kuhn's 
change of awoTtTt\ta-fi.(.v<j)v to aTroTtTtXto-fitvovs (followed by Usener 
and Giussani) as unnecessary. ii0£crT£>Tas can be continued into the 
second clause, and refers to the formation of the 
eZ8<i>Xa by the atoms. The gods ' do not exist as numerable material 
bodies, like other atomic compounds, but by identity of foim, owing 
to the constant afflux of similar images which are completed at the 
same spot'. The expression is very condensed, but is, I think, intelli- 
gible. The form of the divine body remains always the same its 
material constitution is a succession of atomic formations, the individual 
atoms coming together within the limits of the form to constitute the 
divine body for a moment and then coming off together in the combina- 
tion of an ' image ' to pass mto the mind of man. The use of ttSutkw 
is therefore proleptic, and there is some confusion, as in the passage of 
Cicero, between the formation of the divine body and its cognition by 
men through the medium of the ti&wXov. (3) dv#pwjro£i.Sets . the 
divine body was always conceived by Epicurus as anthropomorphic in 
form (cf. Cic. N. I). 1. 46 ' a natura habemus omnes omnium gentium 
speciem nullam aham nisi humanam deorum'). 

II. The second aphorism states the. second condition of arapa£la, 
the true knowledge with regard to death, and corresponds therefore to 
Ep. iii, §124-7 

4. 6 Qdvaros ouhiy irp&s ^pcis. The regular Epicurean formula, as 
in Ep. in, § 124. 7, and Lucr. in. 830 ' nil lgitur mors est ad nos '. It 
is here enforced by a bnef and interesting syllogistic argument. 

t6 yip SiaXuOfe deai<rdt]T£L : death means the atomic dissolution of 
the livmg being and atomic dissolution means the loss of sensation, for 



sensation is due to the juxtaposition and movement of the soul and body 
atoms. So more briefly Ep. 111, § 124, 8 a-rtprjms St i<mv alcrSr/o-tua 
6 Bdvarrx: Lucr 111. 558-614 explains the theory carefully and at length. 

5. rd S* dyaurOriToCK ouSck irpis ^pas for we are sentient beings, and 
a non-sentient existence, whatever it might be, is not us. Lucr 111 
847—869 again gives a useful commentary. 

Ill The first two principles concerned external things, the gods 
and death, vuh regard to which a right understanding is necessary to 
avoid fear. The third and fourth concern the internal feelings of 
pleasure and pain and the attitude to be taken up towards them 
Bignone (p 56 note 1) has pointed out that the third aphorism con- 
sists of two parts and must be considered in relation to the doctrines 
which Epicurus is combating. In the first he states that the quanti- 
tative limit of pleasure is the complete removal of pain if all pain is 
eliminated, then perfect pleasure has been secured. Here he is 
attacking the doctrine of the Cyrenaics, who regarded the removal 
of pain as a merely negative state of calm, while pleasure was the 
addition bejond that of a »«Vf?crts. In the second part he is attacking 
the Platonic idea of the /jukto.1 r/Sovai, pleasures in which there is an 
element of pain where jou find something in a state of pleasure 
(t-o ^Sojutvov), there is no element of pain either bodily or mental. 
In other words, pain and pleasure are mutually exclusive, and Plato's 
lAiKTal rj&ovau are not genuine pleasuies The practical inference was 
of great importance for the Fpicurean ethic pain can be removed by 
simple means, but it requires elaboration to produce the Cyrenaic 
pleasure hunger is satisfied by bread, but the Cyrenaic needs an 
elaborate banquet. Moreo\er, these elaborate pleasuies involve pains 
and are therefore to Epicurus' mind not true pleasures. We come 
then to the 'simple life' as the foundation of Epicurean morality — 
Epicurus was no ' epicure' — and this third aphorism does in fact corre- 
spond, though at first sight it seems remote, to the third article of the 
TcTpa^ap/MtKos, ri.ya.6ov tvK-rqrov. The point is brought out in the 
more elaborate treatment m Ep. 111, §§ 129-130, and is the underlying 
notion of Lucr u 20 ff 

6 Spos, ' limit ', bejond which greater pleasure cannot be produced, 
but as he points out in XVIII, pleasure can only be varied Here he is 
111 direct andjmmediate contrast to the Cyrenaic view. 

irarros tou dXyoue-ros Usener quotes an interesting note from 
Voll. Here Coll. II. t. mi, f 14, which shows that even 111 antiquity 
there was a division of authorities as to whether iran-os should or 
should not be read here. Its exclusion would not weaken the main 
position, but rather hmtt it to a particular case, the removal of what 
on each occasion causes pain to aXyow is strictly ' bodily pain ', as 
it is used just below, as opposed to to kviravi^vov, ' mental pain ', but 
it appears here to be used in a comprehensive sense, covering both. 

7. uirc£cupc<r»s. Voll. Here, ibid, assures us that 'all the good 
copies ' have i$aupc<rn, but the compound seems more probable and 



the meaning is not affected. We may compare the parallel passage 
in Ep. in, § 130. 1 1, orav Uttolv to dXyow rar' iv&€iav i$aipeOjj (so again 
in K. A XVILI) 

oirou o' &e . . : the second point, which really follows from the 
first ; if pleasure is the complete absence of pain, then if pleasure is 
present there can be no pain. We cannot then have the /xlktoI rjhovai, 
and all pleasures which involve pain must be eschewed 

8. <\ to auva\L^6rtpov. Logically the addition is superfluous ; if there 
is neither bodily nor mental pain there cannot be the combination. 
But the idea of the close connexion of the two and their interaction is 
constantly present to Epicurus. 

§ 140. IV The fourth aphorism deals with bodily pain, and is an 
expansion of the last clause of the>dpfia.Kos, to Si Seivov £v««Kap- 
TipntfTov. Acute pain does not last long and chronic pain permits of 
an excess of pleasure So that there is nothing in our physical con- 
stitution to make a life of pleasure as described in III impossible 
The general idea is repeated epigrammatically in Ep 111, § 133 5 to St 

tujv kolkGjv (jrtpa.%) (is r) ^povov% rj ttovov; f\ei /Joa^is, and IS echoed by 
Diogenes of Oenoanda, jfr Ivm We may also compare another saying 
of Epicurus', quoted by Plutart h, de Pceiis Audiendis, 1 4, p. 36 s 01 /xryoXot 
woVoi o-uvto/jlui 1 ; i^dyovcriv, oi Si xpovioi /xt'ytfos ovk i^ovaiv, with which 
he compares a line of Aeschylus ®dpo-ei rrovov yap axpov ovk t^" 
Xpovov. It seems doubtful whether sufferers from pain would accept 
Epicurus' position, but Cicero (de Offic 111 33 11 7) acutely observes, 
'non id spectandum est quid dicat, sed quid consentaneuni sit ei dicere, 
qui bona voluptate terminaverit, mala dolore '. it was essential for Epi- 
curus to maintain that there is open to every one at least a preponder- 
ance of bodily pleasure over pain Two points in the aphorism may 
be noted, (1) Epicurus appaiently speaks here of a coexistence of 
pleasuie and pain, which at first sight seems inconsistent with III. 
But he is now considering pain in the body as a whole some part 
may be in pain while other parts are free, but there cannot be pleasure 
and pain in the same part at the same time — oVov 8' av to rjEofievov ivrj, 
ko.6' hv &v xpovov y, ovk Icrri to aAyotiv (2) He is speaking here solely 
of bodily pain he held of course that even the severest bodily pain 
might be exceeded and overcome by mental pleasure, and it was the 
function of the philosopher to secure this. 

1. o-upcxus goes of course with xpovifci R. D. Hicks taTces to dXyovv 
o-wtx£»s togethei, 'continuous pain does not last long' this seems a 
paradox which even in this paradoxical aphorism Epicurus did not 

iv Tjj o-apKt, 'in the flesh a favounte use of Epicurus' where most 
writers would have said iv rep o-tojoari so again in XVIII and XX. 
Remember that o-wpji in Epicurus' vocabulary includes the corporeal 
\jmxn, so that he was forced to look for another word to express 
the body without the soul It is also one of the signs of the approach 
of Epicurus' diction to Hellenistic Greek : cf. the use of autv in XX. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 139-140 


a. jttv aufxw, ' the crisis' of acute pain. The use of onpoion tols 
^Sovai in XII makes it tempting to conjeciure (Wpaxov here, but the 
point of the aphonsm is that bodily pain is nevei absolutely without 
alleviation, and the line of Aeschjlus strongly supports aKpav: 
Epicurus may possiblj' have had it in mind So in Diog Oen. 

fr. lvui Taiy a\yrjS6v<nv at aKpai \povt^€tv ov Svvai'Tat 

3 By water's 0-vp.p.tvu for o-vft-fiaivti would improve the sense, but it 
has no autbontj. 

V. After the exposition of the T€rpa<pdpp.aKo'i Epicurus proceeds to 
the conditions required for the pleasant life, and maintains that it 
must have the three qualities of prudence, honourable action, and 
justice a life which is based on these three will of necessity be 
pleasant The first half of the aphorism is repealed verbally in 
Ep 111, § 132, 9 and in Diog Oen fr hv, who confirms Gassendi's 
addition. As regards the second sentence there are divergent views, 
but with the te\t adopted Epicurus eufoices his statement with a 
reiteration from anothei point of view 

7 (ouBe . . BiKtuius) Gassendi's addition must be accepted as in 
the corresponding place in Ep 111, § 132, 10 It is now confirmed by 
Diog Oen fr. liv 

8. otu Si tooto . -rouToy rj&lus Jrjy As this sentence stands in the 
MSS. (see critical notes) it cannot construe, and some correction is 
necessary Usener emends uru S' tV tovtw fiy vna-pxti. oTov tv v 

<f>povCfxu><; Kal Ka\u>s «ai 8iKaiu>s VTriip^ei, ovk tern tovtov iyStujs Cyv, ' but 
if a man lacks any one of these, as for instance prudence 111 life, even 
though he has honour and justice, it is not possible for him to live 
pleasantly' The sense is at first sight good, not only cannot a man 
live pleasantly who lacks all these qualities, but the want of one of 
them is fatal But there are several objections to the restoration . 
(a) the alterations 8' tv toi™ for Se tovtu and olov £rjv for ov £rj are 
too violent, (i) thegrammai of kcu /caXws Kai SuicuW virtlpxa in the sense 
of 'and jet possesses an honourable and just life ' is surely impossible, 
(c) the most important objection lies in the resulting sense. The 
language of Ep. 111, § 132 shows that Epicurus thought that (ppovrjo-i's 
was the controlling foice in life, and itself produced the subordinate 
virtues it is, therefore, suicly impossible to suppose that he could 
have imagined that a man could live KaASs kcu Sikcuujs, if he did not 
live (ppoi'L/xw: Bignone takes this point strongly. 

Bignone himself reads {i£) ou £fj>' . , ' but the man who is without 
that from which a prudent, honourable, and just life is derived, cannot 
possibly live happily ' ; he explains that tovto i£ ov is <pp6i>r)o-i<;, and 
refers to the emphasis laid on it in Ep in, § 132. Palaeographically 
the correction is simple, but the expression is surely too vague to be 
probable and the explanation is unnatural, as it would of course be 
impossible to live cppovCpo>i without <pp6vrio-it 

Von der Muehll follows Sen/ Vat. v. in omitting the words from ov 
Cfj to vjrap^eu 



I suggest that the MS. text is right as far as it goes (with the 
obvious correction for ffj), but that here again there has been a loss 
owing to parallelism of expression, tovto then refers to ijSiu* tfjv, 
the nearest subject in the previous sentence, and intivo to <ppoyt/ibic koI 
koA*>? xal SiKatius £rjv. The sentence then becomes a reinforcement of 
the maxim by the appeal to experience : ' if in fact we see a man's life 
is not pleasant, then we may be sure that he is not living virtuously : 
if we see that he is not living virtuously, we may know that he cannot 
be living pleasantly '. It does not greatly add to the previous maxim, 
but Epicurus is fond of such repetiiions to enforce important points 
(he uses one in the corresponding place in Ep. 111, § 13 a), and the 
correction involves very little textual change. 

VI and VII go closely together If, as is stated in V, the pleasant 
life involves prudence, honourable living, and justice, how is this to 
be secured ? The first necessity is arapaiia from without • for a man 
to live his own life well, he must be protected from molestation by 
others. It is therefore necessary to seek for such protection, and any 
means which can provide it is a ' natural good ' (VI) In VII he goes 
on to consider certain false attempts to secure protection. The general 
idea of these two aphorisms is referred to in XIV, XXVIII, XXXI, 
and XXXIX, and is implicit in much of Lucretius' description of early 
civilization in v 10 11 ff and 11 05 ff. 

I I Sapptlv i£ AfOpuiruf, ' to have immunity from the attacks of 
men a condensed form of expression which Epicurus affects : cf VII 
rrjv i£ avOfXitviLiv dcr<paA.tiai' and XIV ttJs acripaXtCai; Trjs i£ 6.vdpo)Tru>v ytvo- 
f-ivrji, and the corresponding use of dapptlv in XXVIII and XXXIX. 

V • the inferential imperfect used often in the Kvptat Ao£ai • cf XII 


k<xt& Qucnv &.ya&&v, ' a good in accordance with nature ' • cf VII to 
rijs <pw«u>s iyaBov ayadov «'£ <uv is certainly an odd construction, though 
not impossible for Epicurus. Us^ner suggests ayaBa, which would 
be easier, but possibly something like Tavra fartlv has dropped out. 

After icarA 4>v<r<.v the MSS. have apxv ! *<" jSao-iXttas, which Usener 
excludes as a gloss on l£ <uc I had at one time thought the words 
might be retained and (6peyt<r6ai) added after them (cf VII ad fin 
wpixOrjo-av). The aphorism would then become an anticipation of the 
first* part of VII 'in order to obtain Aa-^dXeia men sought rule and 
Wngship as the means by which they might attain their end '. The 
sense would be quite in accordance with Epicurus' thought, but I do 
not think he could speak of this mistaken idea as Kara <j>v<riv iyaOov, 
and it is better to regard the words as an anticipatory gloss VI is 
the general statement and VII gives the detail. Von der Muehll 
retains apx>js «<xl /?a<riA«tas, translating" presumably 'the advantage of 
rule and kingship is a natural blessing ', but apart from the granv 
matical difficulty, tins is open to the same objection that Epicurus 
could not have spoken of such things as a Kara. <pucriv &.ya66y. 

COMMENTARY §§ 140-142 


12. After touto Meibom inserted ns, which would again make the 
construction easier, but in Epicurus it is hardly necessary. 

§ 141 VII deals with a false attempt to obtain this necessary protec- 
tion from other men : persons have thought that they could do it by 
■winning fame and high position which would place them above moles- 
tation. But in fact the struggle to obtain and maintain high position 
is itself a serious obstacle to aTapafia, nor, as Epicurus points out here, 
is the result attained one of real security Lucretius has a remarkably 
close parallel v 11 20-1 126 

at claros homines voluerunt se atque polentis, 

ut fundamento stabih fortuna maneret 

et placidam possent opulenti degere vitam, 

nequiquam, quoniam ad summum succcdere honorem 

certantes iter infestum fccere uai, 

et tamen c sumnio, quasi fulmen, deicit ictos 

lmidia mterdum contemptim 111 Tartara taetra 

3 dircKafW, 'lhe\ obtained to the full cl. o.7r<iA.a./j./JoLi tiv in XII 
t6 -ri}s ifruiTctus dya86r, ' the good accoidmg- to nature ' as 111 VI 
5 ica-ra to Trjs +u<T€cos oiKetoi', ' in accordance with that which lb 
akin to nature', 1 e the instinct for pleasure C(. Ep ui, § 129 to 
Trtitra. ovv jfiovi] 8ia to tfirmv t\ttv oixfiav <iya6W. 

VIII passes to a slightly different topic, yet not unconnected with 
the last two aphorisms. If men can be so deceived about ' natural 
goods', what criterion can we have in the choice of pleasures ? This 
aphorism lays down the general principle all pleasures arc good in 
themselves, but in some the concomitant pain outweighs the pleasure, 
and these must be avoided The idea is elaborated in IX and X and 
is dealt with fully in Ep in, § J 29 

6. k.o.8' iauTo KaKof the neuter is quue natural, and the reading 
Ktx0' iavTrjy ranij of FI" looks like the emendation of a grammatical 
purist But possibly \on der Mutihll's *a0' Io.vttjv kcucov is the most 
natural construction. 

7 6xXr)<r«is, ' disturbances cf. XI r/vwxKow and Ep in,* § 127 11 

^ 142 IX ib a unique statement in Epicurus but very important, as 
it gives the ground for the differentiation of pleasures Gassendi 
observed that it was dnected against the Cyrenaics, who held 
(D L 11 87) that ' no pleasure differs from any other nor is it more 
pleasant ' : they believed also that pleasure was merely momentary 
and could not be prolonged, so that the object of life was to accumu- 
late as many pleasurable moments as possible, and it did not matter 
from what source they were derived life for them was simply and 
solely apolaustic. Epicurus' view, on the other hand, was that 
although pleasure could not be increased quantitatively beyond the 
limit of the complete absence of pain (III), yet pleasures could be 





varied, and had qualitative differences. Here he also implies that 
they can differ in 'density' in three ways, either by lasting longer 
or by affecting the whole organism or by affecting its more important 
parts (in particular, the mind) If all pleasures were alike in these 
respects, then there would be no difference at all between them, but 
as it is, a 'calculus of pleasures ' becomes possible we can select our 
pleasures, either according as they are more pure, i e. more completely 
exclude pain (VIII and XI), or as they are more lasting or affect the 
whole organism or its more important parts. The theory is an integral 
part of the ethical scheme and is needed to complete the argument of 
Ep. in, § 129. 

1. KaTtiruKroCro, ' could be intensified ' or 'condensed '. 

After rjSov^ Bignone would insert ko.1 p-vr/pn There is no doubt 
that memory played a part in Epicurus' conception of pleasure 
(compare the general idea of Ep 111, § 122, and XVII of the Vatican 
aphorisms) and would be a means of KaTaTrvKvuuris, but it seems 
hardly justifiable Lo introduce it into the text here Similarly Cronert's 
insertion {koL tovw) is superfluous. 

2 a8poiafj.a is used quite literally of the ' aggregate ' of atoms of 
soul and body which composes the man. ' Organism ' seems the 
nearest word in English, though it includes ideas foreign to the Greek 

WOld cf Ep I, § 63 3 ifrvxy <r "'/ Ac ^ €OTi XtTTTOfJLtpis Trap' oXov to atfpotoyxa<nrapfi.(vov 

t& KupiuTaTa n^pt), 'the most important parts', 1. e. especially the 
mind rather than the body . cf. Ep. 1, §§ 35 6, 36. 6. 

X-X1II may be regarded as going together and are naturally 
approached from IX. Epicurus is applying the test of the Kvpiwrara 
/xeprj, and in particular of the mind For its pleasure the necessary 
conditions are, a-> has been learnt from the Ttrpa^apjuafcos, a true 
knowledge of the nature of the gods and of death, and an understand- 
ing of the bounds to be set to desire and of the limits of pain. Now 
the pleasures of sensuality cannot help us here ; if they could, we might 
(apart fiom then accompanying pain) regard them as perfect pleasures. 
But for this purpose we must turn rather to philosophy, which gives us 
the sure knowledge of the nature of the world and the principles of our 
own conduct. 

X is a straightforward statement . if the pleasures of the body could 
give us what we need, we could find nothing to censure in thum. 

4. tS>v iripl tous dtniTous ^jSoeui' . the regular Greek periphrasis with 
■n-epi to avoid one genitive dependent on another do-ej/xarous F is a 
strange vanant, but does not point to any real alternative. 

5 p.cTecipwf : the movements of the heavenly bodies and the other 
phenomena of the sky, the subject in fact of the second letter. The 
fear about the ptTcwpa is of course the idea that they are arbitrary acts 
on the part of divine beings, which, according to the Epicureans, was 
one of the causes of the origin of religion : cf. XI and Lucr. v. 
1 183-1240. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 142-143 


6. koX dXyrfiivvr, ' and its pains ', not ' pain ' simply (as Hicks), Tor 
'the fear of pain ' would be an idea not found elsewhere in Epicurus. 

to irlpas t<oi> tmOvfj-iuv, ' the limits set to our desires ', 1 e that 
we cannot desire greater pleasure than the complete absence of 
pain (HIV 

It is clear that we require here the mention also of the limit set to 
pain (IV), and the insertion of (ko! twv akyyjSuvwv) would be sufficiently 
justified by XI. But, as Bignone has pointed out, it is now guaranteed 
by the text of Diogenes of Oenoanda,_/r, where this aphorism is 

7. ji«ji.i(ioi)i«8a The reading of B /«^>u/«0a is hardly enough 
authority for altering the otherwise universal fLtp.tyaifi.t6a to the more 
grammatically correct 

8 ^KirXiipoun^ois a necessarj coi rection of the tlo-n-Xrjpovfttvois of 
the MSS a common error (K = ic) 

9 OTrep SC. to a\yovy real to X.nrovpti-'ov 

XI If we had no need of such knowledge, we could well lead a 
pleasant life without physiology, but as this knowledge is the essential 
condition of pleasure, we cannot dispense with our understanding of 
nature. The general idea of this direct \alue of scientific knowledge 
is dealt with m Ep 1, § 78 

1 1 •f|i'tix.Xoui' cf VIII (>x\ij<ret¥ 

12. p.^ ttot€ . t[ ti the form of the expression sliongly recalls 
o OavaTos oi'Sev irpos -r/pua in II and elsewhere. 

Tt to fir) kcltclkoclk is a bulliant restoration for the MSS 
votiv B accentuates TtTa\p.r)Kd. and P has t to prjxa, which point to 
a corruption, and a marginal note in B describes the reading of the 
text as o-<t>d{\fia) 

§ 148 XII makes one step faither in advance. There are two 
possible sources of information about the heavenly phenomena and 
death, religion and science The ordinaiy man derives his concep- 
tions from the myths of religion, but they are peculiarly calculated to 
inspire fear and so to destroy pleasure if pleasure is to be based on 
complete arapatla, and so to be absolutely pure, we must learn the 
truth about the universe from physical science Again Ep 1, § 78, 
puts the point fully 

1. ouk fle, 'it is not possible ' the inferential imperfect again . cf. VI 
rfv Kara. <f\vo~iv 

uirtp twv Kupibn-rfTUf, 'about the most important matters', le the 
ptrtwpa and death cf Ep. 1, § 78 I to tt)v vTrip tuiv Kvpi<j)T<XT<j)V aiTiav 
t£aKpi/3u>o-ai <f>vaiokoyia<! tpyov eivai &ti vo/ii£eiv also §§ 35, 36. 

2 toG <Tup.iro.rros ' nothing short of a knowledge of the universe will 
really suffice, or at least of the general principles of its working 

i>itoirrtu6ft.tvov the fear of the arbitrary action of the gods in 
phenomena gives us a ' suspicion ' cf wrotyiai in XI. Normal Attic 
uses the verb only in the active, and Usener proposes to read vtto- 
■n-rtvovra, but this may be accepted as a later usage. 

z 2 



4 dxepai'ous, ' unalloyed ', entirely free from pain, and in this case 
from the mental pain of fear Lucretius puts the point well m 
111. 37 ff • * 

et metus die foras praeceps Acheruntis agendus, 
funditus humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo 
omnia sufTundens mortis nigrore neque ullam 
esse voluplalcm liquidam puranique relinquit 

&iro\a|x^di>eii< • cf VII a7reXa/3ov to ri}s </>wtios ayadov 

XIII is a connecting link between the immediately preceding topic 
and that of VI and VII, to which Epicuius returns in XIV. It is no 
good to secure freedom from molestation by other men, unless we 
combine that with the greater freedom of mind, which is due to the 
true knowledge of the universe Our arapaiCa must be complete both 
on the physical and mental sides, if we are to have true pleasure cf 
Lucr in. 37 ff and n 16 ff 

5. T^|f ko,t' dfOpw-rrous dcr^rfXciae . cf VI Oappccv i£ av6pw-n-(ov, 
VII Trjv i£ <i.v(?pu>iru>v dcr<£a\fiav KaT dv#p<iu-ou<; IS here a natural 

6. uir&TrTiov cf XI viroi/ztat, XII {nroTrrcv6p.cvov, the word which 
links these three aphorisms together the root idea is fear arising from 

tw utt6 yr\s always coupled by the physiologists with to. /xt-oopa, as 
Ep. li and Lucr vi 

7. rStv iv ti3 dircipu things outside our koct/jlo^, sc other worlds and 
the gods So Lucr. 1 74 of Epicurus, 'omne mimensum peragravit 
mentc animuque ' 

XIV A most difficult and obscure aphonsm in which both text and 
meaning are uncertain. It returns to the topic of the tlo-<f>a.\tia. c£ 
AvOptowwv, which had been broached in VI and VII and referred to 
again in XIII VI showed its necessity for the ideal life, and VII 
that the effort to gain it by fame and position is mistaken Epicurus 
now considers the question how it is to be attained : the aphorism 
must be considered in close connexion with XXXIX where he recurs 
again to this question Our view as to his answer must be determined 
by the text adopted both here and in XXXIX According to the 
text here given Epicurus holds that there must as a pieliminary be 
some force (8iW/xi«) — even though it were only personal influence — 
which can banish from one's life the elements which are likely to cause 
disturbance (l£opumicq, cf i^wpCo-aro in XXXIX) But besides this 
force, by far the purest source (ewopta etAiKpivtorarry) of ao-<pdX.eta is 
that which arises from one's own quiet life and retirement from the 
world. Here then we have the answer to the question raised in VII 
The men who aim at political power think to secure their aa-^aXeia 
wholly by force They are wrong : it is true that some force is neces- 
sary to banish certain molestations, but the true solution is to eschew 
politics altogether and live one's own life in peace. This was, of 

COMMENTARY. §§ 143-144 


course, the regular Epicurean view, characteristic of its general indi- 
vidualistic attitude compare Lucr. v. 1 127— 11 28 
ut satius multo 1am sit parere quietum 
quam regere impeno res velle et regna tenere 
For other views of the aphorism see notes below. 

8 Y€^p.^KTjs M^XP 1 l he start towards do-<£<xAfia must be made 

by an exercise of force or power which can secure it to a certain 

9. Surdpci tiki ^£opioTi.Kjj, 'by a certain force of expulsion ', 1. e of 
getting rid of certain elements of interference and placing them beyond 
the borders of one's life The text is very uncertain I accept with 
some hesitation Usener's correction nvl for te . among the many MS 
variations of the next word, the almost universal perispomenon accent 
points to a dati\e rather than a nominative e£op«rrtKfl would be 
strongly supported 1>\ i$mfita-aro in XXXIX, which 111 my view is based 
on the same general idea 'The man viho secures u«-c£dA.€iu makes all 
things he can akin to him (o/j.o'<£uAa) or at least not alien (iiAAo<£iAu) 
for the rest, he either does not mix with them (di'£7rt/m.M-os, or 
else banishes them from his life (e^wpt'traTo) ' There is, however, an 
exactly similar doubt as to the text there 

Usenei I. ikes Swa^ti nvl b\ 1 ( self and reads i^entin-TiKij ' the 
a<r<£ttAeia ausing fiom rja-v^ia and tV^wp^rris is a support to and the 
purest souicc of the 'ut^aXda fiom men which has been obtained to a 
certain extent by a ceitain force ' But (1) Hvvu./j.(i tlvl is vol) weak 
and does little but repeat /xc'xpt Tiros , (2) e£<rpei o-rnoj is feeble in sense 
and grammatical!) awkward in combination with the substantive 
el-Trofjia this Usener feels himself and suggests in Ins notes i£ipturis tJ , 
(3) die general sense is unsatisfactoiy the life of retirement cannot 
well be described as 1 a support ' to io-^aActa 

R D. Hicks, accepting Usenei 's te\t, translates 'then on a basis of 
power arises most genuine bliss' this is surely an impossible sense 
for l^tpeio-TtKrj, which cannot be passne in meaning, and tvTrapia must 
go with the genitive 7-775 do-^xxAe/as 

Bignone retains the tc of the MSs' and reads <Wa/t« rt i^tpiurriK^ 
Ktxi cvrropUL *.l\LKf}iVG<r(Ta.Trj €7re£epyarTTiKu>yraT'>7 yiVeTai, ' both by Its 
powei of offering support and by Us unalloyed gifts of goods is most 
productive o£' the d<rc£uAeia e£ VLv8pwTrwv But Svytlfj.(i i£tpti<TTiKy IS 

an odd expression, and the addition to the text is very considerable 

£iXi*pive<rraTir|, ' most pure ', because it is not tainted by the clement 
of 0XA.770-1S, w hich is involved in the use of force to banish molestations. 

10 ^Kxuprjacus the bulk of the MS authority is foi eyx ,1, / : "? " t<JS > 
but that must be a mere mistake 

§ 144. XV deals with the topic of Ep. 111 § 1 30 to satisf) the desires 
of nature (the dvayicaZai r/Oovau) very little is wanted, and that can 
easily be obtained. But to satisfy tht empty cravings of those who 
are not philosophers is an almost endless task. The idea is familiar 
and the expression straightforward Besides Ep 111, § 130 *g to piv <£vo-i- 



kov ttov tvKopurrov ion, to Si kcvov SvcnropuTTov, we may compare an 
aphorism preserved by Stobaeus, Floril. xvu. 23 (fr. 67, Usener 469) 
X<V"t rn fLateapCq. frv<rti, otl Ta ivayKata iiro/i^rev cJiropurra, Ta Si Bvarro- 
/moto ovk ivayKaZa, and Lucr v. 1 1 17-1 119- 

quod si quis vera vitam ratione gubernet, 

divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parce 

aequo animo ; neque enim est umqnam penuria parvi. 

1. A Ttj« 4>u<rcb)f irXotrroc : cf the epigram in Athenaeus (Usener 
f r - 470- 

tos <f>v<TU>t 8 6 irkovTo? opov TLva /3awv €Tritr\tt, 
at Si K<val /cptVits Tav o7r«oavror 0S0V. 

a» tw Kit>wf do|uk, « the wealth demanded by idle imaginings ', 
i.e. suggested by the baseless mental images of persons who have not 
learned the true wisdom. So Epicurus, as quoted by Porphyrius, ad 
Marcel/am. 27, p 208. 2 {/r. 68, Usener 471) ov cnrdviav yt tiptlv 
&vBpwrov (WvijTa) irpos to rrji <£uo-e«o? TtXos icat irXovcrioy irpds Tas Ktvas 
S6(at Cf. also XXIX irapa Ktvijv &6£av ytv6ft€va.t. 

XVI. A new topic, the comparative importance of chance and 
reason in life Chance can at times hinder the wise man, but only to 
a small extent . it must be reason that throughout his life decides his 
action and therefore hts fate. The idea is reproduced in several 
Epicurean passages and is foreshadowed in Ep. 111, § 134. 

3. ppax'a : the neuter plural (internal acc.) has the better MS. 
authority as against j8pax«a, and, as Usener points out, is supported by 
Cicero's rendering (dcFtn. i. 19.63) 'exiguum (not exiguam) fortunam 
Intervenire sapienti '. Epicurus, too, is almost certainly adapting 
Democritus' aphorism ySaia yap <f>povr/<Ti Tv\r) /na^rrat, Ta Si vXturra, iv 
fity cvfuwos 6£v$tpKtr] KanOvvei, where we have the same neuter plural. 
Ta SI fiAyurra. just afterwards confirms it. 

The same parallels are conclusive against Cobet's tvxji for rv^. 

4. oiyKTjKc is clearly intended by the MS. Sicoki;kc and is read by 
Stobaeus, when he quotes this passage. Usener, who quite arbitrarily 
excises SioikcZ *ai Stompm at the end of the sentence as a gloss, reads 
SuoKticrt as a gnomic aorist and cuts out the KaC which follows it in the 
MSS. Epicurus wishes to emphasize the continuance of the process 
by the use of all three tenses. Bignone also takes this view of the text. 

XVII gives us the direct connexion between justice and the 
Epicurean ideal. Justice, as we shall see (XXXIII), has in itself no 
immediate value, but indirectly it is useful because it most contributes 
to the inward and outward peace (aTopa&'a) of the life of ideal 
pleasure : injustice, on the other hand, is the source of the greatest 
possible disturbance. The idea is strictly Epicurean, and besides V 
we may compare the fragment Sucatoo*vKt^ xapiroc ftAyurrot arapajui. 
(fr. 80, Usener 519), and particularly K- A. XXXV, which explains 
the cause of the Tapax»J. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 144-145 


6. 6 SueauK PUxs is the form in which the aphorism appears in 
Diodorus and Sent. Vat. xii : the meaning is of course not different. 

In XVIII Epicurus passes back to the limitation of pleasures, 
originally laid down in III, and speaks now more fully as regards 
both the body and the mind. The amount (fi£y«0oe) of pleasure is 
limited in both cases : both for body and for mind there is a point 
beyond which pleasure cannot be increased in' quantity (ri> iripai), but 
only varied in kind. For the body this point is reached when there is 
lirovU, when all pain due to want is removed by the satisfaction of 
the want (e. g. in hunger). For the mind the limit is the establishment 
of irapa(Ca by the reasoned comprehension of the limits of pleasure 
and the right understanding of emotions like them, 1 e. the desires and 
fears connected with the conceptions of immortality and death 
Beyond these limiting points we can only get variation in our 
pleasures, and though for the mind such variation is good, for the 
body it means the introduction of means of pleasure which involve 
pain. The ideal of ' plain living and high thinking ' is thus shown to 
be the life of the fullest and purest pleasure ■ cf X and Ep 111, 
§§ 130-132. 

9. t& km' {fSciay dXyouc, ' the pain due to want ' : cf. Ill and 
Ep. iii, § 130. 

muKiWcTai, ' is varied ', in the means by which it is satisfied. This 
is a new point m addition to the iripas doctrine of III The luxurious 
life, which as was seen in X does not produce arapa^Ca, cannot 
increase the quantity of pleasure, but only van its means of satisfac- 

10. i.myivvr\triv • a curious word, meant perhaps to suggest the 
reaching of the limit in the process. 

11 i\ . toutw airS>y tKK6yi<ris, ' the thinking out of these very 
pleasures ', 1 e. the comprehension by reason of their limits The 
understanding of the limits of pleasure of body and mind will not only 
give a rule of conduct but will itself be one of the means of securing 

rw Ajwrycfiiv toutois is probably rightly explained by Bignone to 
mean 'the emotions like them', i.e. the desires associated with immor- 
tality and the fears connected with death which (before the Fpicurean 
philosophy} used to be the greatest cause of mental fear. 

Hicks translates the clause, ' The limit of pleasure in the mind is 
obtained by calculating the pleasures themselves and the contrary 
pains'. But (a) this is not at all an Epicurean idea - he does not 
weigh pleasures against pains, but only admits ' pure pleasure', (3) it is 
a possible, but not the natural sense of iic\6yuris , (c) tS>v oiurytvuiv 
tovtoli cannot be strained to mean ' the contrary pains '. 

12. irapeffKcua£c : a real imperfect 'used to cause' before the 
Epicurean philosophy was grasped 

§ 145. XIX. A point of great importance is introduced as a deduc- 
tion from the previous aphorism. If there is a limit of«greatness to the 

3 6 ° 


pleasure both of body and mind, and no pleasure can be greater than 
the complete absence of bodily pain and mental trouble, then com- 
plete pleasure can be attained in a limited time, and infinite time could 
not produce greater pleasure. The conception is of great importance 
for Epicurus because it enables him to maintain that there is no reason 
why men should long for immortality, which could not give them 
greater pleasure than they can know in this life It is elaborated 
in XX. 

1. I(rr)f : sc. not greater. 

2. tA lr/pora : as in XVIII, the limits of bodily and mental pleasure, 
i.e. the complete absence of pain and anxiety. 

XX. A difficult aphorism in which the editors have been inclined to 
tamper with the text, but it can, I think, be maintained as it stands. 
It is a contrast in the attuudes of ' the flesh ' and ' the mind ' towards 
pleasure, and is clearly intended to biing out further the point of XIX 
that infinite time is not required to obtain the greatest pleasure. 
Epicurus has also in mind, as usual, the view of the Cyrenaics. ' The 
flesh ' is the body apart from the mind (IV) . it can perceive individual 
sensations owing to the admixture of soul and body atoms, but cannot 
correlate sensations or reason about them Any individual sensation 
of pleasuie is perceived by it as something which might be indefinitely 
increased or prolonged : if this were really the case the longer the 
time, the greater would be the pleasure, and infinite time would 
produce infinite pleasure. It is on this purely sensational basis that 
the sensual man (cEotdtos, X) acts, and it is also the root of the Cyrenaic 
theory which advocated the accumulation of the individual moments of 
pleasure (fu>v6xpovo<: 1780V17). But the mind, Epicurus holds, knows 
well that this is not so, but that there is a quantitative limit to pleasure 
both of body and mind . complete pleasure is therefore attainable in 
this life and there is no need of immortality. The man who holds 
this conviction will be content to cease to exist, when his time comes, 
without feeling that he has missed anything. The difficulties he 
chiefly in the first sentence. 

4. dirAaPe, 'perceives ', as in VII and XII, with no added implica- 
tion of reflection on the sensation. 

5. nut frireipos aArV xp^^os iraptmceiWck, ' and infinite time is (in 
that case) required to supply pleasure '. I think the sentence may be 
so translated without unduly straining the Greek. TraptaKevaxrcv is the 
reading of all the MSS. and is exactly paralleled by rbv -lravreXrj /ftov 
vapwK€vaa-fv below. If the text is altered at all, it should be to 
irap€<rK£vcur tiv, or w ith Diels to k&v . . . irapta-Kcvaa-tv Usener reads 
ApdtrKoi av, avnjy being then rrjv o-dpica, ' infinite rime would satisfy it 
But not only is this a violent alteration of a word which is almost 
certainly authentic, but, as Bignone points out in his admirable 
discussion of this aphorism (Introd., pp. 26-33), it implies in the trapf 
something more than mere perception, and is therefore contrary to 
Epicurus' doctrine. Bignone himself would read k<u i-rrtif^ov ovk 

COMMENTARY. §§ 145-146 

<ur<tp)os, ' and limited time can produce unlimited pleasure '. But 
(i) the phrase below ovffiv in tov airtipov xpovov ■trpoo'tSrrjOrjptv shows 
that there must have been a contrast between the o-ap£ which does 
require infinite time and the Siavota which does not ; (2) though 
Epicurus says that the flesh perceives pleasures as £n-eipa, he surely 
would not go so far as to say that limited time gives it pleasure which 
is airtipov, for his whole doctrine is that there is always a -n-epas. The 
expression is very obscure, but can, I think, stand as we have it, 

too Tijs o-apKoc t£Xous, ' us ultimate purpose ', or as Bignone trans- 
lates it, ' its summum bonum ', te to get rid of all pam and so secure 
AirovCa : the tcXos is also the we'cas of pleasure. 

6. tov fmXo-yio-fKV, 'the reasoned undei standing ' : cf. XVIII r) . . . 
tovto>v avTuiv t/cAoyto'is. 

7. too alwKos , ' the age to come ', the eternal life after death 
which religion assumes. The word is another of the signs of the 
approximation of Epicurus' language to the Hellenistic : cf. aU*vu>v 

tok iranreXTj 0£o>-, ' the complete life ', which hat. attained its tc'Xos of 
Airovta and arapa^la. The analogy of XXI to tov oXov f3iov navrtXij 
KaOio-rdv suggests ihe transposition iran-cA^ tov /Jt'ov. But the present 
order perhaps accords better with Epicurus' use of trapacrKtviinv, to 
' afford ' rather than ' to make ' 

8. irpoo-€OfVj(K)u.«K is the reading of F and H and is clearly indicated 
by the reading of P and Q The change of subject is quite natural 
and Usener's ir poo-tS t-qOrj- (pi) pyv is unnecessary. 

9 ootc c<t>oyc tV ■f|Soinf)»', an interesting point. Epicureanism is not 
ascetic . it does not avoid pleasure, but only realizes its true limits. 

11. Kcrr&jTpt^K, 1 draws to its close' . cf. Ep. nt, § 126 6 tov Si ytpovra. 
KaXun Ka.To.o~Tpi<ptiv and XL ■n-poKa.Tajo-rpo<p-rp>. The aorist Kwrtcrrpttf/tv, 
gnomic as all through the aphorism, would be more natural and was 
suggested by Bywater, and the imperfect may be due to the neigh- 
bouring Trapto~Kfva£tv, which is a genuine imperfect in relation to the 
other aorists. 

§ 146 XXI An ingenious connexion between the argument 
of the last aphorisms and the earlier practical considerations of VII 
and XV. If we are really convinced of the limits of pleasure, 
we shall know that but little is needed to secure awovCa and drapofia, 
and shall avoid, as unnecessary, the struggles for political power and 
position. We may compare Lucr. li. 16-53 an ^ v - iio 5-h35- 

1 . 6s eoiropurroV io-rt : cf XV. 

2 (to) the addition of the second article is necessary. 
to AXyooV kot* ZrSciar : cf. XVIII. 

4. Ayuvas : a metaphor from the games : the struggles for success 
and the prizes which they bnng. We may perhaps translate 
' competition '. 

XXII. An interesting and important link of connexion between the 
ethical theory and the general theory of knowledge. If we are to be 


sure that our actions are right, we must, as has been seen from the 
preceding aphorisms, always refer them to the 'real end' of life, 
namely AvovCa and Lrapaita (cf. XXV). But it is equally important 
to refer them also to the direct evidence of the senses, which is the 
ultimate basis of all knowledge (see Ep. i, § 82). It is a cardinal rule 
in the field of <ftwrioXjoy(a that all conclusions of opinion (So^a^oju^Ko) 
must be tested by such reference to immediate sensation. In the 
ethical field there is a- double reason for doing this . firstly, in order 
to act rightly, we must have a right understanding of the world around 
us and must therefore refer to our external perceptions (ato-ftjo-cis), and 
secondly, we must refer to our internal sensations {wd&tj), the imme- 
diate perceptions of pleasure and pain, to be sure that any action we 
choose is really productive of pleasure and not of pain. Unless we 
keep these rules, we are liable in the moral sphere, as in the 
physical, to be misled by irpofr8o$a£6fAtva, unauthorized additions of 
the mind. 

5. t& fi$ecmr)K4s . . tAo«, ' the real end ' of life, sc. drovta and 
&Tapa£Ca. For this meaning of v<f>to~rrjK6s Bignone refers to the Life of 
Epicurus, § 32, 6 v<f>4<xrrjKt Si to 6pSLv ^/kSs ko.1 Slkovuv, ' our sight and 
hearing are realities '. Schneider's proposal to expunge tc'Aos would 
make the aphorism refer solely to the theory of knowledge without 
any connexion with the ethical theory — a very abrupt jump. Hicks 
translates 'We must take into account as the end all that really 
exists 1 ; this seems unmeaning, and is certainly not Epicurean. 

■rraertw tV li>&pytLa.v, ' all the immediate evidence of sensation 
i.e. both of the -n-dOr) and the alvBrjaw. For the meaning of ivdpytia 
see Ep 1, § 52 3. Merbach (de Epic Canon., p. 19) notes that hriXoyl- 
{*<r&ai is definitely associated in Epicurus with ivdpytia. 

6. <+' tjf . a general statement, applicable both in the physical and 
the moral fields. 

7. dxpunas : because, unless we bear in mind the fundamental 
criterion of irdtfos, we shall lose the power of discriminating between 
really pleasurable actions and the reverse. 

rapaxt]« : because, unless we attend to the evidence of the senses, 
a«r#ijf<rt(s, in the physical world, we shall admit the fears which are 
primarily destructive of the pleasures of life. Ep. i, § 82, provides a 
close parallel. • 

XXIII. The last aphorism took us back to the fundamental accep- 
tance of a!urOr)<rK as the final test, and the next two deal with this 
subject. Objection to the Epicurean principle might be taken on two 
grounds : either that some of our sensations were trustworthy, but 
others not, or that they are all untrustworthy. Epicurus deals with 
these two positions separately, and in this aphorism with the extreme 
sceptic position. If, he says, you reject all sensations you are left 
without any standard of judgement at all, by which even to condemn 
the senses: for, as Lucretius explains in an interesting parallel 

COMMENTARY. §§ 146-147 


passage, reason, the only other possible standard, is itself founded on 
the senses and owes to them its validity : 

quid maiore fide porro quam sensus haberi 
debet? an ab sensu falso ratio orta valebit 
dicere eos contra, quae tota ab sensibus orta est? 
qui nisi sunt veri, ratio quoque falsa fit omnis. 

(Lucr. iv. 482-485.) 

There is no difficulty in text or expression. 

9. Ayaywy^y, ' reference ' : cf. avayo/ucv in XXII. 

§ 147. XXIV. Epicurus now proceeds to consider the more 
modified scepticism which does not reject all sensation as untrue, 
but maintains that this or that sensation is false He answers in 
effect, ' If you reject any single sensation, you will produce confusion 
in them all, and so destroy the possibility of a standard of judgement'. 
The expression of the aphonsm is, however, obscure because it is 
highly technical . it should be read in conjunction with Ep. 1, §50 
Both Giussani (who has a valuable comment on this aphonsm in Stud. 
Lucr., pp. 181-182) and Bignone in his note explain the passage with 
reference to the familiar Epicurean instance of the man who sees 
a tower at a distance. He has a sensation of a round tower. If 
he is a good Epicurean he will say to himself, ' this sensation is true : 
it represents the image which has come to me '. But he will not go 
on to affirm that the tower itself is lound . this he will regard as 
a problem awaiting (Trpoo-fxtvov) confirmation (iiri/iaprvprjcriv) or con- 
tradiction {ojvrifiapfruprjcriv) on a nearer \\e\\\tva.pyqfui). But the man 
who is not an Epicurean, when he comes up to the tower and finds it 
square, will say, 'my sense-perception was false', not realizing that 
the j'udgeiwent that the tower was round was something added by his 
mind (wpo<78o£a£d/A€vov) to the actual sensation he ought to distin- 
guish the two. If, says Epicurus, we reject any single sense-percep- 
tion in this way we are really undermining them all by our groundless 
opinion, because the next time that we have a similar sensation, we 
shall at once be inclined to doubt its truth and so on till we shake our 
belief in sensation altogether — for we may take up a similar attitude to 
immediate feelings (jraJhj) or images perceived by the mind (brifioXal 
rrp Stavotas)^ 

If, on the other hand, he continues, we blindly accept these opinions 
based on sensation — including both the actual sensation and the addi- 
tion of thought — then, so far from escaping error, we shall introduce 
doubt into every judgement that we make • if, for instance, we decide 
in the example given above that the tower is round, we are simply 

Many difficulties are involved m this Epicurean principle, some 
of which were more clearly perceived by his successors than by 

1. fcPaXetc ; the MSS. both here and in 1. 5 support ix/JaAAcis : the 



parallel of XXIII <2 ftax?? • ■ • °*X might support its retention, but 
Smu^ct«is following immediately in the protasis, makes the future 

AirXOf, 'singly', 'by itself, as opposed to irdaaxs toTs aurfojcrtcrtv in 
XXIII. Hicks' translation ' absolutely ' does not make sense. 

2. kotA tA -ttpwrplvov. Kara has better MS. authority than Ktd, which 
Usener adopts, and very greatly improves the sense : the ' opinion based 
on the idea awaiting confirmation ' (that the tower is round) is con- 
trasted with 'that which is actually present in sensation ' (the image 
of a round tower), and we thus get a natural division of the two 
things to be ' distinguished ', whereas with nai the point at which the 
second part of the contrast begins is not grammatically obvious. Kara 
and koll are frequently confused in the MSS. of Diog. Laert. Bignone 
also reads Ka-ra, and Merbach (de Epic. Canon., p. 39). 

3. (col t& iriOtj : a similar error may be made in the region of feel- 
ing. Giussani (I.e.) suggests as an example, that we may have a 
sensation of pricking : opinion at once assumes an external body 
pricking us, and when we find theTe is none, we may be similarly led 
to conclude that the sensation itself was false, whereas, it was, in fact, 
due to some internal cause. 

Kol iratrav <J>aeTacrriKi)f ImpoXfjr 1-fjs StaKOtaS For a discussion of 

the very difficult expression hri^oX.rj r^s Siavotas see note on Ep. 1, § 38, 
and Appendix, pp. 259 t. I do not believe that the epithet ipavraariKTjv 
here is intended to modify its sense, seeing that for Epicurus all 
thought was conducted by means of images. It seems likely, however, 
that he is thinking primarily of those mental images which are caused 
by the attention of the mind to t'SwXa, not perceptible to the senses, but 
visiting the mind directly. The kind of mistake then would be, as 
Giussani again suggests, if seeing in sleep the vision of a dead fnend, 
and realizing on wakmg that he was dead, we therefore assumed that 
the dream-vision was false, whereas as a dream-vision it was true, and 
Epicurus on his theory of the persistence of the eiSwAa, can explain its 

4". Tjj fuiTatw 8<5{|j: by the same kind of ' groundless opinion ' as 
caused confusion in the case of the single sensation, e.g. of the tower. 
The MSS. point to juiraC^ rather than fuarala.. 

5. £krr« . . . jnfiaXcis because, when you are similarly, led to reject 
other perceptions, you will then be in the position of the objector of 
aphorism XXIII. 

et %i £e0ai<£tr£tc . . . The exactly opposite process, the acceptance 
of all appearances (i.e. sense-perception plus the inference of opinion), 
will lead to exactly the same confusion. The only sure ground of 
procedure is the distinction of the two. 

6. t4 wfMxrjxlrov . . . t\\v £ntfMxpriSpi)OT.i' : together. The addition of 
the accusative here is a valuable explanation of the real sense of to 
vpotTfuivov in passages where it is used absolutely as above, e. g. Ep. i, 
§ 50. 10 Here to TTpotr/tdvov . . . rrfv iiTLfuipTvprfo'iv is of course, in our 

COMMENTARY. §§ 147-148 


example, the idea that the tower is round, to /«} is the simple sense- 
perception of a round tower. 

7. oOk lUXn'ifieis is the MS. reading. Bonnet's ticktfyti, adopted by 
Usener, would make the construction more normal, 1 the error will not 
disappear ', but it is probably possible to retain iKXtCif/tn in a transitive 
sense, either ' you will not escape ' (so Bignone) or possibly ' you will 
not leave out ', ' eliminate ' the falsehood. 

8. it TrrTip*|icijs . . . if opOus, ' since )ou will have preserved the 
whole ground of doubt in every judgement of right or wrong ' : the 
' ground of doubt ' is always the irpo<TBo£a£6ii.tvov, and if we accept that 
in all cases, we make all our conclusions dubious. I have followed 
Bignone tn reading Kara for the MSS koc • cf. the similar confusion 
in 1. 2. 

Usener boldly alters to wa~r' avypijKws, ' so that you will have 
annulled all distinction and every judgement of light and wrong'. 
But apart from the very violent character of the change, it involves, as 
Giussani points out, the very unnatural sense of ' distinction ' for 
&puf>i<rf3r}Tr)<Tiv, which should certainly mean ' doubt ' uncertainty '. 
(Hicks with Usener's text translates ' you will be taking sides in every 
question involving truth or error ' I can make nothing of this ) 

Giussani himself reads wa-rt Tenj/o^/ccis and ko.1 {avflptotcdis), ' so that 
you will have preserved every cause of doubt and destroyed every 
judgement of right or wrong '. This gives good sense, but Bignone's 
correction is far simpler 

§ 148. XXV After this excursion into metaphysics in the two 
previous aphoribms, Epicurus now returns to ethics. Every action 
must be tested by direct reference to the ultimate end of nature, 
i.e. perfect pleasure, consisting of a-irovla and arapa^ia. If we stop 
short of that and try to test our actions by any intermediate standard, 
such as> that of prudence or honour or justice, we shall find that our 
actions are deviating from the true ideal of pleasure and we shall no 
longer be practising as we preach 

2 t6 tA«« -riis <f>u<rcuf, 'the end which our nature seeks ' . cf. XX 
to rijs aapKos Tt'Aos and XV 6 Tj/t <pv<reu>s ttXovtos. 

vpoKaTao-rplif'cts . els ak\6 ri, ' you stop short before reaching the 
tc'Aos and turn to some other standard ' • the picture is of proceeding 
upwards through a series of correlated ideals, all dependent on the 
ultimate end'of pleasure and stopping before we reach the end of the 
series. For this intransitive sense cf. XL -rrpoKwrajcrrpo^v from the 
derivative sense of Karatrrpijttiv, ' to depart from life ', XX. 

4. toI$ Xoyots . not merely 'your words' but 'the principles you 
profess '. 

XXVI-XXX. Considerable doubt has been raised as to the correct 
order of these aphorisms. It would appear at first sight that XXVI, 
which deals with the classification of desires, must have a close 
connexion with XXIX and XXX, while XXVII and XXVIII, which 
deal with friendship, appear to interrupt that connexion. Gassendi 



accordingly arranged them in the order XXIX, XXX, XXVI, XXVII, 
XXVIII, and Meibom following him inserted XXVI between XXIX 
and XXX. Bignone (Introd., pp. si ff) who is concerned to defend 
the sequence of the aphorisms against the attacks of Usener, expresses 
some doubt at this point, and thinks it possible that a septence has 
been lost linking up XXVI and XXVII. He has, however, made 
a good case for preserving the order of the MSS., and it seems better 
to retain it, bearing in mind, however, the possibility of a slight 

XXVI. Bignone (Introd, p. 21) has pointed out that there is an 
essential link of connexion between this aphorism and XXV. We 
must always refer our desires to the ultimate test of Anovia and 
irapagta, and the practical application of that test is that physical pain 
or mental disturbance results if the desires are not satisfied If then 
we find that no such result would follow, we may be sure that the 
desire in question is unnecessary. This is confirmed when we find 
that the craving passes away, if it is found that the object of desire is 
unattainable or likely to cause harm. 

5. 8<roi fir* AXyoui' tnav&youtny. Pleasure being the removal of to 
iXyovv tear Ivlkiav (III, XXI), if no such pain results, when desires are 
unfulfilled, they cannot be necessary. 

6. cdSiaxiTor, ' dissolvable ' : cf XXX ov Sut^ovTat. 

7. (IJ) • the variation in the MSS. points to the duplication which 
is required by the sense. Possibly Sva~n-6pi<rroi y, adopted by von der 
Muehll, is a simpler correction. 

XXVII. The connexion of thought is here much less obvious, and 
as Bignone suggests (Introd., p. 22), it is possible that an aphorism 
has dropped out, of which we may obtain the sense from Ep. 111, § 127. 
I O Taiv 8' dvay Kattuv (£jri#v/Auov) at /acv irpos tiSaifioviav euriv & vayntatat, 
at Si irpos rrjv rov o-to/iaTOS do^A^o-iav, at Si wpo? avro to £rjv. On the 
other hand, a good Epicurean could supply the links. Some pleasures 
are unnecessary, some are necessary . of the necessary some are 
requisite for happiness, and of all those friendship is easily the most 
important. Friendship always played a large part both in the teaching 
and the practice of Epicurus. Just as love was condemned by 
Epicurean ethics as being an 'unnecessary' pleasure involving pain, 
so friendship is always extolled as helping to fill a want, but not 
causing excessive feeling. We may notice that there is 'no altruistic 
element in it at all : it is only to complete one's own pleasure that one 
acquires a friend. So Cicero {de Fin. 11. 26. 82) quotes Epicurus as 
saying that ' friendship cannot be divorced from pleasure and is to be 
cultivated for pleasure's sake '. 

9. Or. As Cicero in translating this aphorism (de Fin. i. 20 65) says 
omnium rerum quas . . . Usener suggests that we should read wrwv : 
but the rendering is natural in Latin as in English. 

vapocnccutfScTai probably in a real middle sense :,' provides for 
itself, 'acquires'. 

COMMENTARY. §$ 148-149 


hkov, ' the whole course of life ', or possibly in the technical sense of 
ita.vT*Xrft in XX and XXI. 

XXVIII continues the subject of friendship but is obscure, as it 
introduces an unexpected connexion of thought. It takes us right 
back to the ideas of the Tcrpa<£ap/uxKo«. The thought that ' death is 
nothing to us ' (II) assures us that there is no everlasting pain in 
a future life, and the knowledge that acute pain is of short duration 
(IV) gives us confidence as regards the pains of this life. Now this 
conviction has an importance for our view of friendship. Friendship 
is both a requisite for happiness and also one of the best means of 
securing dcr<£ciA.tia i£ av&p<Inra>v, for our friends will protect us against 
attack. Now if they had a fear of death or of the long duration of 
pains which they might suffer as the result of their efforts on our behalf, 
they might be unwilling to risk danger on our behalf — as it is, having 
nothing to fear, they will not refuse The thought is a little far-fetched 
and almost cynical in its selfishness, but not inconsistent with the general 
Epicurean position about friendship, and is an interesting instance of 
the way in which Epicurus endeavours to link together different parts of 
his theory The aphorism must be compared with the free translation 
of it in Cic. de Fin. 1. so. 68 ' eadem sententia confirmavit animum, ne 
quod aut sempiternum aut diuiurnum timeret malum, quae perspexit 
in hoc ipso vitae spatio amicitiae praesidium esse firmissimum '. 

j a. aX&vibv, 'everlasting', m the Hellenistic sense . cf toZ al^vot (XX) 

Iv afrrols toIs ipur^Kois probably, as Bignone takes it, ' in the 
limited evils of this life ', as opposed to alwviov Sttvov It may perhaps 
be more general ' in the present limited existence '. 

13 <jk<r+<iX*iak' 4u\ia$ cf. Cic. (loc. cit.) praesidium amicittae, 'the 
protection which is secured by friendship \ The expression is a little 
odd, but not impossible for Epicurus, and it is clear that Cicero read 
<£uU'as. Usener would emend to <£<Aiais, which might make the con- 
struction easier, 'sees the protection . . perfected by means of friend- 
ship but the plural is strange. So Madvig's ' vir doctus ' read <f>t\Lp, 
which is adopted by von der Muehll, but the alteration is unnecessary. 

koteiSc : the MSS. agree on Ka.Tti.vai, but it is impossible to construe 
it, and Cicero's perspexit seems to make Madvig's correction certain. 

§ 149. XXIX. After the digression on friendship Epicurus returns 
to the classificauon of desires which was started in XXVI. There he 
had taken tfie broad division of necessary and unnecessary desires. 
Here he makes a more elaborate division into three classes. The 
division is closely supported m Ep. 111, § 127, and by Sent. Val. xx 
(from which Bignone corrects the text) and Diog. Oen._/r li. Com- 
pare also Cic. dt Ftn. i. 13. 45. 

The meaning is best illustrated by the scholium on this aphorism 
(see app. cnt.) : ' Epicurus regards as natural and necessary desires 
those which put an end to pain, as for instance drink in the case 
of thirst : natural and not necessary are those which merely vary the 
pleasure but do not remove pain, as for instance expensive foods: 



neither natural nor necessary are for instance crowns and the setting 
up of statues '. 

i. It is obvious that there is a lacuna in the MSS. caused by the 
repetition of <f>vtrucal, and the correction of Stephanus, adopted by 
Usener, would give the required sense satisfactorily. But the quotations 
of the aphorism in Sent. Vat. xx and Diog. Oen./h li, have enabled 
Bignone to make a slightly more elaborate correction, which may now 
however be regarded as certain. 

3. irapA Kerf)*' Bifa* : cf XV 6 Si rur Ktviay 8o£u>v (jrkovroi) «Js dmipov 

iKirhrrt t. He means not merely ' false opinion ' but, having as usual the 
image-notion of thought, 'idle fancies '. A mental picture of some object, 
which does not really contribute to pleasure, causes us to desire it. 

XXX This aphorism seems at first sight to be almost a duplicate 
of XXVI, but there are two points which distinguish it. In the first 
place, as Bignone has pointed out (Introd , p. 33), whereas XXVI 
dealt with all unnecessary desires, this deals only with those that are 
physical and unnecessary, the second class in XXIX. Secondly, 
Epicurus is here dealing with a special class of desires. In XXVI he 
pointed out that all unnecessary desires are due to idle imaginings, 
which fade away when the object is found to be unobtainable or 
harmful. But here he has in mind the case where the effect is violent 
and prolonged : there is little doubt, I think, that he is thinking of the 
passion of love. Nevertheless, even here the same explanation is true ■ 
the desire arises from a baseless mental image, and it is prolonged 
owing to the maintenance of that image in the man's mind and not 
owing to anything in the nature of the desire. 

4. rSn> ^utriKuv jmOupiuf. Usener suggests the insertion of /tev : it 
would be an improvement but is not essential 

6. 0-uktovos, 'intense', used of hriOvfua also in Plat. Legg- 734 a. 

7. 06 Siax/orrai, 'are not dissolved', cf. XXVI cvSia^vrov. This 
clause adds to the notion of intensity that of prolongation. 

§ ISO. From XXXI-XXXVIII follow a series of aphorisms on the 
subject of justice, and of the Epicurean philosopher's relation to the 
laws of the community. 

XXXI lays down clearly Epicurus' posiuon. There is a kind of 
justice, which is in accordance with nature, that is, contnbutes directly 
to pleasure. To obtain pleasure we need ' protection from men ' : and 
this we may partly attain by making a compact between Ourselves and 
other men that if they will refrain from hurting us, we will not hurt them. 
Justice then is ' a pledge of mutual advantage '. The idea is developed 
in the following aphorisms and is reproduced in Lucr. v. 10 19- 1020 . 

tunc et amicitiem coeperunt iungere aventes 
finitimi inter se nec laedere nec violan. 

Critics have always seen in this theory of Epicurus an anticipation 

of Hobbes' idea of the ' social contract '. 

1. t& -ri)« tortus &ik<uw. 'the justice which arises from nature', 

Le. contributes to the natural end of pleasure. For the form of the 

COMMENTARY. §§ 149-150 


phrase cf. XXV t& WXos rijs tf>va-toK and more particularly XV 6 rrjs 
jnkrttot irkovros. Epicurus implies of course that any kind of justice 
which does not contribute to &<nf>a\tLa and so to ampaila and so to 
pleasure is not natural and may be rejecied. 

ovpPoXor tou crup4^poKTos, 1 a pledge of muiual advantage ' : the 
compact 10 act justly guarantees the advantage of both parlies. Cf. 
o-vv&rjKas in XXXII and in XXXVI again trvfitpepov yap ri r/v. 
Bignone following Philippson (Arch. f. Gcsch.der Philosophic, 1910, 
pp. 29ifT.) would translate ' symbol ', 'expression (AusdrucK)' , pointing 
out that Epicurus held that there was actually such a thing as natural 
justice, and that it was the ' outward sign ' of mutual advantage. But 
(rov&rfna.t m XXXII and Lucretius' phraseology seem lo be against 
this, and the passages which Bignone adduces are not decisive for 
either version. 

XXXII is a deduction from the general idea of justice expounded in 
XXXI. Apart from the compact to refrain from muiual molesiation, 
justice does not exisi at all : no action, save in this sense, is ' naturally ' 
just or unjust. Justice and injustice therefore do not exist for the 
animals, who from the nature of the case cannot make such a compact, 
nor (as against the Pythagorean view, as Bignone points out) between 
men and animals, nor for such nations as either from their weakness 
are unable or from their savagery are unwilling to make it. 

3. 5<ra t£»k (ww p.-Jj iSom-ro . . • that is, all animals except men. 

4. a\\T)Xa. With some hesitation I accept Gassendi's emendation. 
The majority of the MSS. have <iAAa, which Usener emends 10 aAAa, 
but the variation of the other MSS and especially the indication of 
some letters lost in P point to some other word, and SXkrjXa. is strongly 
demanded by the parallel of AWrfKovs in XXXI. 

5 tjf • the imperfect as Philippson suggests (A rc hiv ftir Gesch. der 
Phil, xvi, p. 298) looks to the time of the formation of primitive com- 

6. <j |*?( i/kiuXero in the case of nations is of course a necessary 

XXXIII at first sight seems to add little to what has already been 
said, except that its statement that justice does not exist in itself might 
be taken on a superficial view 10 be a contradiction of the statement in 
XXXI as to 'natural ' justice. Its imporiance lies, as Bignone points 
out, in its polemical significance : 11 is direcied against those who 
regarded justice as a ' metaphysical entity ' (rafl 1 avro) independent of 
the social relations of men, such as the P> thagoreans, Plato with his 
conception of the 'idea' of justice, and the Stoics who regarded the 
moral qualities as having a corporeal existence. For Epicurus justice 
like the oiher virtues was a, ' an accident ', relative to the 
actions of men: see Ep. i, §§ 40, 68-73 and Lucr. 1. 455 ff. There- 
fore, although it is a ' natural ' good, u can only be realized in social 
relations and has no existence ' in itself '. There is no difficulty in 
text or expression. 

irrt a a 



9. AwijXwtow htf votc Aci tottous is important There is no 
universal justice, but it arises naturally as a <nfufipov in different places, 
and may thus vary in its content. 

§ 151. XXXIV is the complement of the preceding proposition, and 
one of Epicurus' most relentless logical deductions from his premises. If 
justice has no meaning apart from the contract for &aifnx\*ta, neither 
has injustice. Each man is concerned only with his own pleasure, 
and that may often be promoted by an act of injustice : but for the 
preservation of the contract society has appointed certain officials to 
punish acts of encroachment, and the fear that he may be caught and 
punished by them may be so disquieting to the offender as to make his 
action — purely from the point of view of his own pleasure — a bad 
thing for him. The theory is completely cynical and peifectly con- 
sistent with the whole Epicurean theory, but it must not be understood 
to mean that fear is the only motive for just action in Epicurus' ejes : 
he is here stressing one side. 

2. ct pf) Xrjcrci after u-iro+iai', almost dependent in sense. 

XXXV is an amplification of the latter part of XXXIV. The fear 
of detection must always be disquieting even to the most ingenious 
wrongdoer, for no man can have perfect confidence that he will not be 
detected. A thousand escapes give a man no security that he will not 
be taken before his death. The general idea is vouched for in many 
Epicurean references, e.g XVII 6 8' aSucos srXtumjs rapax^s yifjMv, 
Clem. Alex. Sirom. iv. 23 (Usener fr. 582) irumv yap \a{3t2v iripl tov 
Aa&Iv ou BvvturGaL, Lucr. ill. 1014 ff. 

4. irovoutra : the reading of the MSS. can well be kept, wv being 
constructed directly after XdOpa, lit. ' doing anything in secretion from 
what they contracted '. Usener's alteration to kivowto is gratuitous. 

5. irurrcu'ctp has of course the emphasis of the sentence • ' he may 
escape detection, but he can't trust to doing so '. Cf. Seneca, Ep. 
97. 13 'latendi etiamsi fehcitatem habent, fiduciam non habent'. 

6. iwl seems a necessary correction of the MSS. &w6 or vjto, and the 
divergence points to some uncertainty. 

7. KaTourrpo^rjS) ' death ' : cf. KarioTpt^xv, XX, &C. f^XP 1 • • • ^".ra- 
<rrpo<pTj? goes with iSrj\oy and not, as Bignone apparently takes it, with 
Xi}o-«i. You cannot tell until the moment of death whether he will 
finally escape. It is like Solon's ' Call no man happy, until he is dead '. 

XXXVI introduces a new point. Though justice irt its definition 
and general character is universally the same, the advantage gained by 
this mutual compact, yet if we consider individual actions, we see that 
the same action may be just in one country, or at one time or under 
certain circumstances, and not in others: no particular action is 
universally and always just. 

The varieties of the codes of justice and its variability in character 
according to circumstance was of course a commonplace of Greek 
philosophers, and a fruitful cause of moral scepticism. Epicurus here 
states it from his own point of view. 

COMMENTARY. §§ 150-152 


2. (to) : a necessary addition made by Gassendi. 

9. kotA ii to Toiov xt&p*s : a strange expression ; ' in reference to 
the individuality of country '. 

10. Ivwr h4f wore al-nttf: e.g. at different times, in relation to 
different persons, &c 

§ 162. XXXVII is a considerable amplification of the idea of the 
variability of justice expressed in the last aphorism. The first clause 
insists emphatically that the supreme test of a just action is that it 
should contribute to 'advantage' in the sense in which Epicurus 
understands it of the Social Contract • that it should be just in some 
circumstances and not in others is of no moment. In the second 
clause he explains that mere ordinance by law does not make actions 
just: indeed, an enactment is unjust, if it does not contribute to 
' advantage '. Lastly, he asserts that the justice or injustice of a parti- 
cular action may change, but the action is just so long as it is sincerely 
held to contribute to 'advantage', even though subsequently it becomes 
unjust. The sense is clear, but the text in several places is uncertain. 

1 to . . . liripapTupouptvor, ' that which on examination is proved to 
be . . .', the regular Epicurean notion cf. XXIV, and for a fuller 
exposition Ep. i, § 50. We must not be content with a first im- 
pression that an action is just, for our belief may be due to false 
opinion, but must try it by the test of ' advantage ', and if it stands that, 
we can know that it is just 

2. iw fojiioMnw ttcai SiKaiu? is excised by Usener as a title for the 
aphorism which has by mistake crept into the text. But there is no 
parallel case of a title, the words will make good sense as a partitive 
genitive, they are strongly supported by XXXVIII to. vo/uo-0«ra 
&Wia, and greatly help the general idea. There are many actions 
'customarily regarded as just' or 'sanctioned as just by law' 
(vofios), but to each of these must be applied the teBt of ' advantage '. 
The order is unusual, but it is difficult to see at what other point the 
genitive could be inserted. Bignone retains the words and Hicks 
implies their retenuon in his translation. 

3. to toO Sikcuou ic^xupo*'- The text here is very uncertain : the 
MSS. vary between to and riiv and between ck alone and x^R"* 
tlvau Usener conjectured tov . . . xapa*T^pa, ' it bears the stamp of 
justice ', whicji would give good sense, but is palaeographicalfy very 
remote. If we can suppose that the two words etvai have been 
transposed, then tlvai x<!>pav is not far from ivtxypov and to is vouched 
for by F. The sense will then be ' it has the guarantee of a just 
action and for the expression we may compare XL faf3a.i6ra.Tov 

4. r6pov. a certain correction of the MSS. ft6vov. 

6. k&v fLCTamTrg . . .,' even if the " advantage " in the matter of justice 
shifts', i.e. it is at one time advantageous and so 'just' to do a certain 
action, at another not. 

8. wp&i}i|n.i>, ' general concept ' of justice : i. e. the idea which has 

a a 2 



been formed in our minds by a series of apprehensions of acts which 
are just : cf. Ep. i, § 37, and notes there. We may remark the 
materialistic form of the phrase cts tijv vpoKrjxfftv Ivapfwrrg, as a coin 
might ' fit in ' to the mould from which it was impressed. 

9. +walc Meats, 'sounds without content', i.e. words which have 
no real meaning, as would the word' ju3t' if applied by mere associa- 
tion to an action which had seemed to lead to ' advantage ' : cf. Ep. 
i> § 37- 10 wtvovs tf>$6yyovs. 

dXX' els tA is Usener's correction for the MSS. aXXa irX€urra, a irk 
being regarded as a dittography of iXX': it may be however that the 
letters really represent awXws as Kochalsky has conjectured. 

§ 158. XXXVIII is an elaboration of the idea of the two last 
clauses of the preceding aphorism and adds little that is new. Actions 
regarded as just are not just, if in practice they turn out not to be of 
advantage . actions which are leally just may, by a change of circum- 
stance, become unjust. Even Bignone, who is concerned to main- 
tain the genuineness of all the aphorisms and the correctness of their 
older, is ready to agree with Usener that this is a 'duplicate' of 
XXXVII, and suggests that it was either written as an alternative by 
Epicurus or inserted here from some other work as an illustration, 
which subsequently became incorporated in the text. 

1. KotcSf, both here and in 1. 4, is a certain restoration for the MSS. 
Ktvdv : Ps koivwv here, and still more B's kol tS>v in 1. 4, strongly 
support the change. 

2. ivapft&rtovra : the MSS. have only ap^orrovra, but hxtpfiorrg in 
XXXVII makes Usener's correction almost necessary. 

3. fir' auTW r£>y ipyu>v, ' in actual practice ', as opposed to the 
theoretic assumptions of the makers of laws or originators of customs. 

5. Jrrauda hi : a rather curious case of ' S« in apodosi ' : it has, how- 
ever, considerably better MS. authority than 817. 

t6t« . . . Sortpw 6* ouk ty. In the first clause the imperfects 

seem to be real past tenses, in the second inferential as usual in the 

§ 164. XXXIX. An obscure aphorism with a very uncertain text. 
It returns from the special topic of justice to the wider subjects of 
immunity from external interference and friendship (cf. VI, VII, 
XXVII, XXVIII, XXXI, and in particular XIV). ^The general 
idea is not very difficult : the wise man must first grapple with the 
element in external things which militates against dTapa#a, then he 
must win over to his side (6^d<£u\a) things which are akin to him 
(cf. Ep. ill, § I 24. 4 Tats yap {fiiOis obcuovfJLtvoi Sia. jravros aptraif roiis 
6/umovs airoSfxpyrcu) : others, if he cannot have with him, he must at 
any rate not allow to be alien to him (ovk AX\6<ftvXd ye). But 
supposing it is impossible with some things to secure even this, then 
he must keep clear of them altogether either by refusing to have deal- 
ings with them himself (avcirt/xucros), or by driving them beyond the 
borders of his life {i^wptaaro). All through the neuter really implies 
persons : Cf. I rb pXLK&piov kcu 3.<f>0aprov, 

COMMENTARY. §§ 152-154 


For the general idea which is implied of a sort of league of 
Epicurean wise men against the world we may compare XL and Cic. 
deFin. 1. 20. 70 'sunt autem qui dicant foedus esse quoddam sapientium, 
ut ne minus amicos quam se ipsos dtligant '. 

1. to OappoGf . . . mi<m\<rifitvoi is the reading of the MSS. 
Usener despairs of it, and suggests in his notes that we must either 
read tnxrreiXd/xivot (presumably ' the man who best contracts {or 
' narrows ') the element of disquiet '), or to /xiv Sappovv . . . crvo-njo-a- 
fxtvcK (' the man who has best organized immunity '), supposing that a 
corresponding Si clause has dropped out. But it is, I think, possible 
to retain the MS. text not, as Bignone takes it, ' the man who is best 
able to confront ' {affrontare), but rather ' the man who is best able to 
order (or control) the element of disquiet '. For this USe Of (rVVLOTOLCrOcLL 
we may compare its military use with such words as voXe/xov, kCv&vvov, 
^7rt/3oA.Tjv, &c, while the participial to /xrj Oappovv will be like to aXyovv 
in IV and to <j>o/3ov/xcvov in XII. 

2. ApS^uXa KaTco-Kcuao-aTo, ' made akin to himself, lit. 'made mem- 
bers of his own tribe ' : the metaphor is political, though the reference 
of the aphorism is not political, but quite general. Hicks translates 
•made into one nation all the folk capable of uniting together', an 
incredible action on the part of an Epicurean philosopher 1 

4. dycmpiKTo?, ' without intercourse with ' ■ so (3lo<; dr«7ri/xtxTos 
o/itAtats, Plut. 2. 438 c. 

Kol j{wp£o-a.To . . irpd/TTeiK a very doubtful and difficult clause. All 
MSS. except one give ifrqptvaTo, ai~fd the majority 00-a toCt' iXvairiXti 
•npaTTtiv. Usener, basing his text on l^pltraro, B's toutu> and F*s 
XvtrcrtXrj, reads ifriptcraTo 00-a rovrutv XvcriTeXrj -n pari '<iv, ' he wins over 
all of them which it is profitable to treat thus (for ifripio-aro with acc. 
in this sense cf. Dem. 1396 26 &v tovs xvpCovs tj Stupois r) 81' aXX-rji 
•jjotivoo-ovv 6/itXtas i^apia-fyrai). But (l) irpdrrtLy by itself will not con- 
strue ; (2) the sense is not what is wanted : this idea has already been 
expressed in op.6<f>vka /carco-Kcvao-aro, and it is absurd to say that he 
' wins over * those whom he cannot even persuade to remain neutral 1 
The only possible meaning for this last clause is ' when he cannot even 
make them neutral, he either withdraws himself from them or expels 
them from his life '. This sense can be obtained if we follow Stephanus 
in reading i$tapto-aro, which is practically the reading of H The 
exact parallel to the meaning will then be found m XIV if we read 
there Bwdpti. rwl i^opurrucg, and the idea i& also implied in Ik twv 
bfLopovvriDv in XL. Bignone agrees in reading iiwpiaaro. 

So-a tout* iXuoiT^Xei ■wpdntiy is the text best supported by the MSS., 
' all whom it was an advantage to treat thus tovto u-panw governing 
the acc. like iroitiv, &c. Bignone reads 00-a rovro A.vo-n-t\is irpdrrtiv, 
and translates ' m so far as it is profitable 1 , but this appears to me tcbe 
an impossible sense for 00-a. 

XL. A summing up of the best kind of life in a community of true 
Epicureans. Men must first procure immunity from their neighbours : 



then, as it were in a protected sphere, they may live in perfect security 
and close intimacy with their friends ; and if a friend dies first, they 
may mourn their own loss, but not pity him, as they know that death 
is nothing to him. This is a Siting conclusion to the Kvpiat Ao&u, as 
it puts together many ideas which have previously occurred singly and 
leaves a very attractive picture of an Epicurean society such as must 
have lived in Epicurus' own 'garden '. 
The text is uncertain tn some details. 

6. t)\v huyafuy ?<rx<w : because a certain power is requisite to estab- 
lish this security from neighbours : cf XIV Suva/in rtvl i£opurrucjj 
toG t6 is a simple and inevitable correction. 

>j. ruf dfutporitrrw, ' those on the borders of their life ' . this is the 
same idea of a circumscribed field of life as is implied in ifapio-aro in 

ouToi only F, but the ov™ of the othei MSS., which Usener keeps, 
can hardly be anything but a mistake, ovroi is implied in oo-ot 

8. tjSioTa rb : Usener's correction for rjSurrov rov B and other 
variations ; it is again required by the sense. 

g. ut irp&c i\tov : the Epicurean may lament his own loss of a 
fnend, but must not pity him: cf. Lucr. tti. 894-911, a famous 
passage which brings out the idea very clearly. 

10 irpoKa-roorpo^c : cf. KaTa<TTpo<pr)s XXXV and KaT€trrp«f>ev XX. 
It meanB surely 'the decease of a friend before oneself, and not, as 
Hicks and Bignone take it, ' before his time ', ' premature '. 


The fragments here given are derived from two sources. The first 
is a collection of eighty aphorisms discovered in 1888 by C. Wotke 
in a Vatican MS. (Cod. Vat. gr. 1950) and published by him in 
Wiener Studten, 1888, pp.191 ff,, with a critical apparatus containing 
emendations by Usener and Hartel, and supplemented by observations 
by Usener himself and by Gomperz The MS , which is of the fourteenth 
century, is a miscellany containing works of Xenophon, the Thoughts 
of Marcus Aurehus, Epictetns' Manual, and other works. The present 
collection is headed 'Ejukov/jou lIpoo-^uiK^o-is (? IIpoo-c^uKiJtTttSi as 
suggested by Weil). Some of the sayings, denoted in the text by 
square brackets, came not from Epicurus but from his disciples, in 
several instances from Metrodorus. About twenty of them were 
already known, several being quotations from the Kvpuu Ad£u. The 
rest were probably selected from various works of Epicuius, not a few 
ol them seeming to be quotations from private letters. Usener 
conjectured that the collection was derived from a florilegium made 
from the letters of Epicurus and his disciples which was used by 
Seneca, the sentences from the Kvp«u Ao£ai being added by the 
compiler, but Bignone is probably right in thinking that there is not 
sufficient ground for any such definite statement. 

The collection deals almost wholly with the moral theory of 
Epicurus and adds on many points to our knowledge of the system. 
The sentences containing new matter have been marked, as they were 
in Wotke's publication, by an asterisk. The text is fairly sound and 
in most places can easily be corrected, but there remain certain doubtful 

The fragments which follow are almost all derived from the great 
collection of Eptcurea made by Usener, who gathered from writers 
both Greek and Latin all quotations ftom Epicurus' words and 
references to his doctrines. Here will only be found passages in 
Greek, which there is good reason to believe are actual quotations of 
the philosopher's words, though possibly in some cases (notably the 
extracts from Porphynus, ad Marcellam) slightly paraphrased. I have 
not included fragments in Latin (mainly quotations in Cicero and 
Seneca), even though they are probably often literal translations. 
These fragments have naturally not even so much coherence as those 
in the Vatican collection : they deal \> ith all kinds of subjects, and 
were preserved for all kinds of reasons. Nearly half are extracts 
from personal letters of Epicurus to his disciples, which do not as 
a rule throw much light on his philosophy, but add greatly to the 


picture of the man : we understand more clearly what the ' Life ' means 
by his 'unsurpassed kindness to all ' (§ 9). But from the rest we can 
glean much confirmation of his doctrines, mainly on the ethical side, 
and often interesting additions to our knowledge. 

To Usener's collection have been added a few further fragments 
from the Herculanean rolls and the inscription of Diogenes of Oenoanda, 
incorporated in his translation by Bignone. 

IV. This sentence is a brief epitome of K. A. iv, which is quoted in 
Sentence III. It is couched in epigrammatic form and probably 
intended to be committed to memory. 

1. oirrwov : Usener's emendation is certain, avvro/iov of the MS. 
being an anticipation of orWtyiov immediately following. 

3. &f}X.T)xp6f . cf Horn. //. v. 337. A good instance of Epicurus' 
use of a poetic word in a short maxim . perhaps it was easier to bear 
in mind. 

VII. This sentence again is an epigrammatic r/fsumS of K. A. xxxv, 
which has just preceded it It occurs again in part in Plut. Contr. Epic. 
Beai. 6. 1090 c (fr. 8a) and is quoted in a pregnant Latin form by 
Seneca, Ep. 97. 13 'potest nocenti contingere ut lateat, latendi fides 
non potest '. 

IX. Quoted by Seneca, Ep. 12. 10 (Useneryr. 487) 'malum est in 
necessitate vivere, sed in necessitate vivere necessitas nulla est '. Hartel 
on the ground of Seneca's form of the maxim would read kcikov #jv b> 
Aviyicri, but this is unnecessary, and JJsener points out that Epicurus' 
model was probably the famous lines ko.kov ywaiKts, 4AA' o/zok, S> 
Srj/xorai, ovk i<mv oucetv olxtav ivcv kolkov. The epigrammatic form is 
again prominent. For the idea compare K. A xvi : the wise man can 
so regulate his life that he is little affected by circumstance, and at the 
worst he can put an end to his life. Bignone notes that this sentence 
by implication contradicts the popular notion that Epicurus forbade 

X. This sentence is quoted with some variations as from Metro- 
dorus by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, v. 1 38), and is included in the 
collections of Metrodorus' fragments (3, p. 43, Duen. : 37 Korte). 
Bignone notes that the most interesting variation is the inclusion of the 
vocative Meverrpart, which shows that the quotation cofties from a 
private letter. For the general idea we may compare Lucretius' 
description (i. 6 a ff.) of the life and work of Epicurus. The quotation 
is from Horn. //. i. 70. 

XI. There is no close parallel to this sentence, but it is obviously a 
striking contrast with the life of the Epicurean philosopher, for whom 
both rest and activity are a part of his irapaiia. 

XIV. This aphorism occurs also in the collection of Stobaeus ( Floril. 
xvi. 28) and is quoted by Plutarch {Contr. Epic. Beat. 27, p, 1104 a). 
It would appear to come from a private letter addressed to some one 



who was delaying to make a full study of Epicureanism. The idea, as 
Bignone notes, occurs in Hor. Od. i. 1 1 . 8 1 carpe diem quam minimum 
credula postero '. 

2. Kopios may be supplied with certainty from Stobaeus. 

3. t6 xaipoK : Stobaeus has tov Ktupov. The variation is suspicious, 
but our text here may well be right, as Epicurus is particularly fond of 
these participial substantives and the sense is good. Epicurus' corre- 
spondent is postponing the true pleasure of philosophy. 

XV. Both the text and the exact meaning of the aphorism are 
doubtful. Wotke on Usener's suggestion read it thus : f)6r) w<nrtp ra 

rjfttav avrwv "81a TifjuZfxeva' av Tt xprjtrra. J^ufid', Kal vtto tujv av6p<£ira>v 
it)\av/ji.t6a' av tc fvq, o"tu> ^pi^a-is Kal twv 7r<\as, av cirieiKiis ILctiv, which 
he would presumably render, ' Our characters are esteemed as our own 
possessions . if they are good, then we are envied by men ; if not, we 
shall find our neighbours ill-disposed as well, if they are just ', i.e. men 
will judge us and behave to us, as they find us. This was objected to 
by subsequent critics : the expression is jerky and the sentiment not 
particularly Epicurean : moreover, the participle rtp-w/xcva. is awkward, 
and still more so Usener's xPV (ri '> f° r tne MS. xPV- 

I have followed the restoration of Bignone, based on conjectures of 
Wilamowitz and Weil. He notes that the idea is then closely parallel 
to the argument in Hor. SaJ. 1. 3 . ' among friends allowances must be 
made for idiosyncrasies of character', and points out that it bears clear 
marks of Epicurean origin The notion that certain characteristics 
remain particular to individuals m spite of philosophic teaching is 
brought out in Lucr. in. 310 (T., and the general conception of mutual 
indulgence among friends frequently recurs. 

1. TifiwfUK of the MS. should certainly be retained : indeed njx<i>fi.tva 
can hardly be construed unless the fragment is regarded as part of 
a longer sentence. 

&v tc xf")crT& . ok tc fii^ go more naturally together with Bignone's 
punctuation than as Wotke arranged them with dV rt f^rj introducing 
a new clause. 

2. (r)Xwftc6a is a slight change for £rj\ovfit6a, a second subjunctive 
frequently becoming corrupted in a dependent clause. Weil's £i)\ovfitva 
is a less satisfactory correction. 

3. (t&) is an easy addition. 

tmciKcIs 'must be taken in the sense of ' indulgent ', ' well- 
disposed ', which it has not infrequently, e.g. Thuc. ni. 40. 3 koI ij 
tmxiKtia irpos tovs /xtAAovras C7rmj8*«>u9 . . . ItrttrBai . . BiSorai. 

If our friends are indulgent to us, we must behave similarly to them. 

XVL Another rather doubtful aphorism in which I have again 
followed the reading of Bignone, which involves only two slight 
changes, /SAcnw (Wotke) for /SAemw (an obvious error) and aya$<p 
for &.ya$&. The reference then is to the ordinary man, and the idea 
is a commonplace of Greek philosophy after Socrates : no man 
deliberately chooses evil, but only when he is allured to it as good 



compared with what seems a greater eviL It is not easy to find an 
exact parallel to the idea in Epicurus, though Bignone compares 
K. A. xxv and fr. 38, but the commonplace may well have been 
introduced in a letter and selected rather injudiciously by the compiler. 
Usener quite unnecessarily altered the second part of the clause, 

iXXa ScAccur&Sf <I>s dyaOov irpotrbv fjM^ov &v rov kokov I0r)p€v(h), and 

took it to refer to the deliberate choice by the Epicurean philosopher 
of a good which involves evil but surpasses it. This is good 
Epicureanism, but as Bignone points out, both SfAcao-tfcts and i&tjptv&ij 
are against it: to this may be added that ovStU makes the general 
reference clear. 

Cronert's irpds ti futt^ov for tt/oo« to fLit^ov is unnecessary : it is the 
evil which seems greater on each occasion. 

XVII. A characteristic aphorism on the blessings of old age, for 
which Bignone well compares the exordium of the letter to 
Menoeceus (§ 122). The young man is still tossed about by uncer- 
tainty and constantly changes his course, but the old man has reached 
harbour and, if he has lived well, can look back in thankful memory on 
the blessings he has received. 

2. vlo* (tv) dKjjtjj : the MS has vt'os ok/xt] which Usener altered 
to Ivroi oLKfirjt, but there is an elaborate parallelism between the two 
clauses and 5 Si ytptav demands 6 ve'os Similarly lv kifUvi t$ fqpq. 
suggests tv S.Kfx^ which gives a natural construction. Bignone, seeing 
the parallelism, wrote vias &K/jifi, but the dative alone is unnatural, as 
is CrOnert's ve'os dic/M/f. 

iroXus : Haitel unnecessarily altered to -rroAAa. Not only the 
construction, but the metaphors are parallel the young man is a 
wandering stream, the old man has reached harbour. 7roXvs ir\a£«rat 
is therefore like the familiar iroXiis ptt. For 7r\a£cTai, used in this 
sense of a stream, cf. Horn. //. xvu. 750 poov Tre&CavSe TtOr/a-i \ TrXdfanv. 

5. x^P tTt of tne MS. is certainly right and is used in Epicurus' sense 
of 'grateful recollection' : cf. Ep. ad Men. § 122. 7 Sjtgjs yqpwjKiav 
Vfa£y tois AyaOoZs Bta. ttjv X° l P lv t ^ 3V ycyovorwv and LV rg twv airok- 
XvfUvwv x&piri. Hartel's x° L P aKl 1S a clumsy completion of the 
metaphor which really loses the point of the aphorism. Memory plays 
a considerable part in the Epicurean conception of pleasure '. cf. 
K. A. ix. 

XVIII. This is probably not a general maxim, but,* as Usener 
thought, an extiact from a personal letter to a friend, who had fallen 
in love. For the general attitude of Epicurus towards love, which he 
regarded as a violent disturbance of S.Tapa£(a, see Lucr. iv. 1058 ff. 

XIX. Bignone has rightly seen that this aphorism refers again to 
the importance of memory in the Epicurean conception of happiness. 
The philosopher, remembering the joys of the past, can renew his 
youth daily (cf. Ep. ad Men. § 122), or rather remains continually 
yOung : but the man who is ever seeking new pleasures and is disap- 
pointed is plunged at onqe into the gloom Of old age. 


i. T^jjLcpor may therefore probably be retained in an emphatic and 
picturesque sense, though Usener's av&r)fitp6v would be the more 
conventional way of expressing the meaning. Gomperz's r^y {riffi) 
<f>p6vyi<ra> misses the point. 

XX is important as it restores the right text of K. A. xxix see 
notes there. 

XXI. For the idea see Ep. ad Men. §§ 127 ff. and K A xxvi, xxix. 

1. iT€i<r6fit6a : the MS. has Treuro/xtv, which Wotke accepts and 
Bignone translates ' we shall obey '. But this meaning is impossible 
except m the middle, and we cannot render ' we shall persuade ' It 
therefore seems necessary to read wturo/jLtda. 

2. t^s^'V Wotke's addition, seems inevitable 
XXIII. The notion is exactly that of Vit Ep. § 1 20 

Stat rat xpcias . . . <n/vt<rracr&cu Si airrt/f Kara. KOiv<i>via.v iv rot? rats 

iySoyais- ^KTrt7rX->jp<i>/x£i'ois. Compare also K A xxvit Friendship starts 
from need, but it becomes a good in itself. 

1 atpcT^, Usener, is a necessary correction of aptrrj 
XXIV This aphorism is interesting as being the only one in the 
collection which is not- strictly ethical. For the doctrine of the cftkoXa 
see Ep ad Hdt. §§ 46, 49, and for the simulacra as the origin of 
dreams Lucr. iv 962 ff For Epicurus' opposition to divination see 
Vit. Ep. §135. 

XXV. This aphorism appears in Seneca, Ep. 4 10 (Usener 477) 
' magnae divmae sunt lege naturae composita pauperlas ', and is echoed 
m Lucr. v. 1117—1119 : 

quod si quis vera vitam ratione gubernet, 
divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parce 
aequo ammo; neque enim est umquam penuna parvi. 

Compare also K. A. xv and fr 45 (Usener 202). 

XXVI. This is probably an extract from a private letter and refers 
to the philosopher's own works. 

XXVII. An ingenious claim for the superiority of philosophy over 
other pursuits, which brings out its close connexion with the Epicurean 
ideal of pleasure. Bignone compares Diog. Oen fr xxvi for the 
general idea of pleasures, in which the action and enjoyment are 

3 Spa : pera. (V) must be a mere mistake, a repetition of fura. 

XXVIII. Friendship is not always acquired in the same way it is 
sometimes fast sometimes slow in the making, but we must risk much 
for it. A characteristic saying, to which we have no close parallel. 
At the end the MS. has -irapaKiv&wtvcrai x°-P lv X^P ty "A^""^ which 
von der Muehll retains • ' We must risk acts of kindness for the sake 
of friendship ' • but the repetition is probably a mistake. 

XXIX. Epicurus' claim to originality and his scorn for popular 


i. +u<rioXoY«f xp r l ,r H** t "' ' s an ingenious correction of Usener's for 
an obvious corruption and may be taken as certain. For the idea of 
the philosopher as an oracle compare Lucr. v. 1 10 ff. : 

qua prius aggrediar quam de re fundere fata 
sanctius et multo certa ratione magis quam 
Pythia quae tnpode a Phoebi lauroque profatur. 

Bignone also refers to Cicero's ironical allusion in N.D. i. 66 'haec 
ego nunc physicorum oracula fundo' Von der Muehll adopts Cronert's 
correction <pwrio\6y<f, which I do not understand : is it to be taken 

with irapprfo-uf. ? 

XXX This fragment is attributed to Metrodorus by Stobaeus, 
Flor. xvi. 20. As quoted by him in a fuller form, with the words <b? 
/Suocrd/xevot fitra to keyoft-cvov t^r/v after ri uyxis tov fiiov, it clearly refers 
to the preparations for a continued life after death, and Bignone there- 
fore believes that it is directed against the Orphics, In that case to 
rijs ytvicrtwi <f>dp/jLaKov will be an ironic reference to the draught of the 
waters of Lethe taken by souls before they enter this life. As the 
fragment stands here it might equally well be taken to mean that men 
act as though this life would continue for ever. 

XXXI. This aphonsm is attributed to Epicurus by the Pans 
Gnomologium (Usener, fr. 339), but to Metrodorus by Stobaeus, 
Fiord, cxviii. 33. Usener in hts notes on the Vatican collection is 
inclined to give it to Metrodorus, as does Bignone on the ground of 
its metaphorical expression. For the Epicurean idea of aa-^dXcta see 
K. A. vii, xiii, xiv. 

XXXII. The text of this sentence is corrupted in the MS. 
Usener's iyaOov iUya for iya.6Civ perd may be accepted, and similarly 
in all probability his correction crcfiao-fjjk for o-«/3ootos. Bignone, 
companng_/r. 31, where Epicurus, addressing Colotes who had fallen 
down and worshipped him, says J>s <rc/3o/xeVu> ydp a 01 ra Tore i<f>' f/fxwv 
Xryo/Mva, would read o-cj3cktt6s Xoyos, but the parallel is not very close, 
and the present quotation is clearly more of a general aphonsm. 
Usener would also change tHiv o-tfto/xevwv to t£ <re/3o/i.ev<p, but though 
the dative would be more usual, the alteration is not imperative. The 
idea is interesting, that the veneration of a sage is really a blessing to 
his worshippers rather than to himself. 

XXXIII. Protection from hunger, thirst, and cold are the necessary 

Ehysical desires, and a man who satisfies these may have perfect 
appmess equal to that of the gods. The first part of the aphorism 
is quoted again by Porphynus (fr. 44) and may be compared with 
Lucr. ii. 16 ff. The second part reappears in several forms, the closest 
of which is that in Aelian, Var. Htit. iv. 13 (Usener, 602) 6 avroe 
ZXrycv irolftjuvs *vttv xal r£ Au vn-ip €vSatfU3vtas 8iayu>Kt£«r#ai /*a£av 
ixmv Kal vSaip. From this quotation we may with certainty restore Au 
to the text. We may also compare the conclusion of the letter to 
Menoeceus (§ 135). 


XXXIV. A subtle observation on friendship to which there is no 
exact parallel, though the idea in K A. xxvn, that friendship provides 
acnftaXtta. comes near to it. I cannot think of any very satisfactory 
way of retaining in English the double meaning of xptlav . . . xptia? ; 
Usener ingeniously translates * Nicht, dass wir sie brauchen, brauchen 
wir von den Freunden'. 

XXXV. An ingenious argument for Epicurean contentment. We 
may compare Ep. ad Men § 127. 5 p.v7jfj.ovevriov 8e is to jxtWov ovrt 
■fjixirtpov ovrt irdyroi'S ov% r)p.trtpov, Iva pyre 7ravTeos irpwrjulvw^ev <Ls 
icrofAAvav p-rp-t airtX-rrl^tufLtv <I>t